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Let me just start by saying The Fourth of July is my favorite holiday. I revel in celebrating our freedom as a nation. While you’re out there grilling and eating burgers and hot dogs, watching a parade, listening to military bands, watching spectacular fireworks, I encourage you to take a few moments to let it sink in.  We‘re all blessed to have been born in, or to be living in, the greatest and most blessed nation in the history of the world! Make it a point to teach your children and grandchildren about the Declaration of Independence – read it with them, even out loud.  Tell them about the sacrifices that so many have made and continue to make for our freedom.  See the column by Bill Federer on page 6 for a glimpse of the sacrifices and hardships endured by the signers of the Declaration.  And then reflect on these poignant words by Ronald Reagan, Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”

Have you ever stopped by to visit A Place for Girls at 912 Cedar Road?  If not, you really should see this wonderful Girl Scout headquarters.  I recently took a tour and was very impressed by their wonderful facilities.  I had the privilege of meeting with some of the staff including Tracy Keller, the CEO of the Girl Scout Council of Colonial Coast, Marcy Germanotta, and Kaitlin Smith. What a fantastic facility!  There are meeting rooms, classrooms, a dining room, a store and many other indoor facilities.  Outside they have a wonderful nature trail, canoes, bird watching stations, and more. The Citizen salutes them for the outstanding work they are doing with the young women of Chesapeake and the region.

The Chesapeake Division of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce had an opportunity to hear from the new Chesapeake Regional Medical Center President and CEO, Peter Bastone on June 19.  Bastone shared his bold vision for the future of CRMC.

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