Happy Independence Day!

Two hundred and forty-two years ago, our founding fathers declared our independence from England and the “great American experiment" was born. We would be challenged again with the War of 1812 and the Civil War. Recent history is marked by 9/11, the Boston Marathon bombing, school shootings and last week’s attack at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis. It seems we are in the midst of another major challenge to our democracy with the polarization of America and the civil discord we see playing out everyday in the news. Yet history shows our republic has had to withstand significant challenges throughout its history and somehow always managed to prevail and in most cases emerging stronger than before. '

Which brings me to my reflections for this holiday about our country and its future inspired by a Time magazine article titled, The New Patriotism by Richard Stengel where he writes,

"What we need going forward is third-way patriotism, a new patriotism that blends the faith of our fathers with, as Lincoln said, the unfinished work remaining before us. That new patriotism, as Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer write in The True Patriot, means ‘appreciating not only what is great about our country but also what it takes to create and sustain greatness.’ …America has a greatness of purpose that no other nation does, and that for all our achievement, our greatest tasks remain before us.”

We live in a democracy based on free markets. In fact, every  community in America depends on a trustworthy foundation for capitalism, from Main Street to Wall Street. As licensed CPAs, we are all active participants in this free market. In fact, we are a major part of its foundation. As a profession, we have a responsibility and civic duty to continue our “unfinished business” of continuing to improve the free markets and the public trust we have earned and must work to protect.

So for this Fourth of July, be proud to be an American and a CPA, then think about what else we can do to make a difference in our communities and our profession — to, as the authors said, “create and sustain greatness.” Let’s do our best to model professionalism and civility in all of our interactions in the hope of spreading hope and inspiration as we continue this ‘unfinished business."

Please take a moment to remember the five journalists who died at the shooting in Annapolis last week and their grieving families and friends.

And one more wish for this Fourth — that you remember our men and women in the armed forces and first responders who stand in harm's way and all of those brave men and women who came before them to fight for and protect these principles and ideas that are uniquely American.

Have a happy and safe Independence Day! Tom and MACPA Team


Tom Hood