July 1, 2011
The American order, far from being stagnant, still is developing. This word implies membership: an order is something that one belongs to…Active participation in this order is both a right and an obligation, and whether this order improves or decays must depend upon the quality of that participation.
- Russell Kirk, The Roots of American Order

American Independence: A Celebration of Our Rights and Duties

Monday July 4th commemorates our nation’s birth. For most Americans it is naturally a day of rest from work and one filled with festivities associated with the warm summer months: outdoor activities, family gatherings and fireworks to name just a few.

However you mark this auspicious occasion, I invite you to take time to reflect upon the incredible fortune this day symbolizes. As Kirk notes above, the freedom you and I enjoy is both a right and an obligation.

For too long now, many Americans have rested comfortably while all around them the order which secures their liberty has slowly eroded. As Dr. Tim Nash noted at this year’s Annual Freedom Seminar, the United States is on the verge of federal government expenditures which will be equivalent to one-hundred percent of our Gross Domestic Product and we will soon move from number two to number one in the world for having the highest corporate income tax rate. While Northwood has never been one to sound the “alarmist bell” common-sense individuals know that the American order we know and love cannot long endure such circumstances.

If we are to be great again – and I for one believe firmly that we will – it is imperative that we celebrate and observe the virtues that gave birth to America each and every day of the year, and throughout our lifetimes. Only by practicing the values of The Northwood Idea in everything we are and do can we restore the American Dream. So, as Dr. Martin Luther King exhorted us, “Let freedom ring!”

I wish you and your families a very happy and joyous Independence Day.

Keith A. Pretty, J.D.
President and CEO
Northwood University
4000 Whiting Drive
Midland, MI 48640
989.837.4203 (phone)
989.832.9590 (fax)

pretty@northwood.edu