July 2016

Heirs of great legacy

OTM-July 4

Like most of you, I look forward to the holidays and all the traditions – and good food – that go along with most of them. In fact, some of my fondest memories from childhood specifically revolve around July 4th – or Independence Day – and the grand, all-day festivities my family and I enjoyed with our church congregation. I feel blessed to have such amazing memories.

While I most certainly will think of those wonderful summer celebrations from time to time this weekend, I cannot help but linger a bit on the origin of this holiday and what it really means to us.

As we all learn in grade school history, Independence Day honors the birth of our great country. In June 1776, representatives of America’s 13 colonies contemplated a resolution to declare independence from Great Britain. On July 2, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and the Declaration of Independence was drafted by Thomas Jefferson.

Nearly 90 changes were made to the draft before the Continental Congress adopted the final version on July 4, 1776. This extraordinary document has continued to serve and guide us for 240 years. What an incredible, enduring legacy.

As we celebrate Independence Day, remembering that feels so empowering. The spirit of those who birthed this fledgling country and established its foundation demonstrates the power of a great vision and the strength of people bound to fulfill a common dream. Our country’s founding reminds us that being American is such an honor, as well as a responsibility to carry that pioneering spirit forward.

The story of Texas Children’s founding is similarly inspiring. We, too, had forefathers with a great vision and pioneering spirit. Driven by the same type of ambitions that spurred our country’s leaders nearly 200 years prior, our founders helped establish the little hospital that would become one of the best in the world, renowned for advancing care and leading medical breakthroughs.

Today, we are so fortunate to be the beneficiaries of both legacies – that of our country’s founders as well as Texas Children’s founders. From them, we inherited the freedom to aspire, create, build and achieve. It is an honor for the nearly 14,000 of us to stand on those two legacies, bound by Texas Children’s mission of creating a healthier future for children and women all over the world.

Good food on the 4th is most certainly something I relish, but what I cherish and embrace today and everyday is the freedom to make a difference that will endure for generations.

Happy, blessed Independence Day to all!

Mark H. Wallace