"I've been thinking about that iconic American saying, "Freedom Isn't Free."
"Usually it refers to the sacrifice of the men and women who serve in the military and their families -- and it's especially poignant now that Iraq- and Afghanistan-era vets are facing a 12.7 percent unemployment rate. (For a bright note, take a look at some of those vets rebuilding the World Trade Center after being trained in construction trades through an innovative union effort.)
"I do believe that freedom isn't free -- but today the corporate and political right wing is trying to cheapen this truly American value. They've been cynically using the word "freedom" to rally the American public against its own best interests."
On Independence Day, our country celebrates the promise of America.
It's a day to remember that the principles that bind us together vastly outweigh what keeps us apart. The freedom to dream and the opportunity to create a better life -- not just for ourselves, but for each other -- has always defined our great nation.
I am a product of that American Dream. As a kid who grew up in public housing, went on to get an education at a state university and build a business, I am grateful for what this country has made possible for me. In turn, at Starbucks, we have always tried our best to honor our responsibility to the communities we serve.
And on this Fourth of July, our communities need all of us.
Across the country, millions of Americans are out of work. Many more are working tirelessly yet still unable to adequately care for their families. Our veterans are not being welcomed home with the level of support they deserve. Meanwhile, in our nation's capital, our elected leaders are continuing to put ideology over real solutions. I love America, but we all know there is something wrong. The deficits this country must reconcile are much more than financial, and our inability to solve our own problems is sapping our national spirit. We are better than this. America's history has showed that we have accomplished extraordinary things when we act collectively, with courage, creativity, and generosity of spirit -- especially during trying times.