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Monday, July 1, 2013

Happy Birthday and Thanks

As a married man and a father who raised three children past their teenage years, I have been reminded on many occasions that I’m not perfect.  But my wife and the kids love me anyway.

It’s the same with our country.  We’re not perfect, but I and millions of others love the United States in spite of its flaws and failures.  I don’t know where else in the world a couple of guys in their 60s, along with a staff and other owners, the youngest of whom is 46, could put together an Internet company, have the freedom to build it the way they want and have an incredible infrastructure to tap into to make all this possible.

There is a lot to be thankful for, but for this blog, I’ll just touch briefly on freedom and infrastructure.


Thanks to the men and women of the armed forces, including our intelligence agencies, from the time of the Revolutionary War to today, for their bravery, willingness to endure months of boredom and moments of terror, for the years of their lives and in too many cases, their lives themselves.   We would not have the freedom to create our business without them.

Happy Birthday U.S.A.
Thanks to Abigail Adams and other wives of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.  Can you imagine what must have gone through their minds when their husbands told them they signed the Declaration?  These were all pretty much well-off men, who came home after that July convention in Philadelphia and told their wives that they had committed treason against the King of England.  They willingly put themselves, and possibly their wives, at risk for torture, the death penalty and abject poverty.  All they had to do was win a war against the most powerful nation on the planet.  So thanks to those wives for the bravery they showed by not giving into their well-founded fears and beating their husbands to death with a broom.

Thanks to Winston Churchill.  He recognized the Nazi threat, endured years of ridicule, and simply refused to give up.  I shudder to think what the world would have been like had he not been so stubborn – and so right.


Thanks to Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, for listening to their passions and creating computers that are easy enough for the rest of us to use. 

Thanks to Jeff Bezos for creating Amazon.com and building Amazon Web Services, an incredibly reliable, secure and reasonably priced data storage service.  Without AWS, we probably could never have raised enough capital to get SafelyFiled started.

Thanks to Robert Kahn, Vinton Cerf and Al Gore (yes, that Al Gore – seriously). Kahn and Cerf were brilliant engineers who developed Internet protocols, so computers could talk to each other.  And Al Gore, who as a Representative, Senator and then Vice President saw the future value of what became known as the Internet, drafted and sponsored legislation to create the digital communications backbone we use today and got it out of the government’s control, into the private industry where it could be further developed into the best communication tool ever.

This List Deserves to be Longer

This list could go on and on.  There are plenty more individuals who deserve our thanks so feel free to add them in the comments section below.

A nation is not the land inside the borders that show up on a map.  It’s the people - the individuals who by their work, creativity and persistence continually build the foundation for the rest of us to build upon.  May we be worthy of the efforts and sacrifices of those who came before us and may our own contributions be a solid foundation for those who come after us.

I love this country.  Happy Birthday.
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