Virginia is the birthplace of representative government in America. The House of Burgesses was formed in 1619 as the first representative legislative body in America. Proudly this body still stands today, now called the House of Delegates.
On July Fourth, 1776, our forefathers declared to the world that we stood as a free and independent nation, using the ideas and words of a Virginian, Thomas Jefferson.
Since then, millions of brave men and women have fought and died for the ideas, values and principles set forth by George Washington, Jefferson, Patrick Henry and so many others. Among these ideas, values, and principles are liberty, free-enterprise, a commitment to faith in God, the rule of law, limited government, the separation of powers, and representative democracy.
These are the tenets that have made our nation strong and our people prosperous. These are the fundamental precepts that we are celebrating this weekend. I am proud to call the United States home and am grateful for those who have and continue to defend this nation.
As we celebrate this weekend, I am particularly mindful of the importance of the rule of law, separation of powers, and representative democracy. These core principles are central to the successful operation of government. They are deeply rooted in our nation’s history. Those who disregard these concepts do so at great peril.