Today, on Independence Day, I spent a little time with the father of my country. No, it wasn’t in a séance or in the District of Columbia, which honors his name. It was in the Cascine Park in Florence, Italy where George Washington is memorialized.

A month earlier, I was in the Republic of San Marino, the oldest republic in the world, which has maintained their independence since 1797. Their museum houses a letter written by Abraham Lincoln in 1861, when he was declared an honorary citizen. He wrote, “Although your dominion is small, your State is nevertheless one of the most honored in all history.”

Whenever I travel around world, I marvel at the symbols I see that represent America’s freedom, another nation to be honored. For me, they are a continual reminder of my country’s greatness. Today is also a reminder of the founding fathers and a brilliantly constructed document, the Constitution, that has protected our liberties and freedom for 238 years. As I honor them, I also honor the men and women who gave their lives to protect my freedom, and those who continue to fight.

Today, as every day, I am proud to be an American.