Celebrating independence and freedom


By Dave Roberts

Independence and freedom — I can’t think of two better things to celebrate.

The Fourth of July is a great family holiday. This year, my family and I are set to march in parades in Scripps Ranch, Mira Mesa and Rancho Bernardo. We love to see everyone dressed in red-white-and-blue, the Stars and Stripes snapping in the breeze and fireworks bursting in the night sky.

Beneath this rich symbolism is the message: Americans fought and died for our independence and freedom.

That’s why for me, the Fourth of July will always be a time to remember those who have defended our nation.

This year it’s especially personal. My oldest son, Robert, 19, has joined the U.S. Air Force and in September is set to ship off to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, to begin training.

I’m so proud of Robert and his determination to defend our freedom, just like many of his relatives dating all the way to the Revolutionary War.

Besides Robert, I salute my 84-year-old father, who served in the Korean War. Two of my uncles, 89 and 91, served in World War II, and both of my late grandfathers served in World War I.

Five of my distant relatives were patriots in the Revolutionary War, and in May, I was recognized formally as a Son of the American Revolution. Research for my induction confirmed that I am the great- great-great-great grandson of Private Judah Roberts, who fought in Capt. Alden’s Company of Col. Butler’s Regiment, as well as Capt. Gillette’s Company of Col. Enos’ Regiment in the Connecticut Militia.

Well before our declaration of independence in 1776, my relatives emigrated from England in 1629 in search of a better life. They landed in Massachusetts and 10 years later moved to Connecticut, where they put down roots.

I’m very proud of that and proud to honor everyone who has defended our freedom: freedom to express our viewpoints, to worship as we choose, to pursue artistic inspiration, to reap the rewards of our hard work, and perhaps most important, freedom to organize and seek redress from our government.

From the late Private Judah Roberts of the Connecticut Militia to my soon-to-be-enlisted son Robert Roberts of the U.S. Air Force, thank you to all members of our armed forces for helping to make America the greatest nation on earth, and for making the Fourth of July what it is today.

Dave Roberts represents the Third District on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.