As we reflect on our recent Independence Day celebrations, from time spent with our family and friends, enjoying fireworks, barbecues, fairs, picnics, public and private gatherings, I trust we all took a few moments to recognize that our freedom isn’t free.
Neither are the services provided to us as citizens. We enjoy a broad range of freedoms that continue to be the envy of the world. As I alluded to in my Independence Day post, one of those freedoms is the freedom to create value by serving others.
As Americans, we continue to be a work in progress. We struggle with labels, choices and change just like the rest of the world. But out of our conflicts, more often than not our fierce independence drives us to give and produce solutions that benefit our families, communities, country and the world.
Critical infrastructure services are a major part of that equation. For example, take the independence of the thousands of investor, member and publicly owned utilities that provide cost-effective and reliable electricity to our homes and businesses.
The independence of these organizations improves reliability because energy requirements are well-coordinated, but managed separately. This approach means regional planning and engineering that goes into providing critical infrastructure is built on planning that started many decades ago in local communities.
This is the same with our country as we continue to build on our differences region-by-region, state-by-state, growing and experiencing change that our forefathers couldn’t have imagined. I wonder what George Washington would have said about America being the first to have someone walk on the moon. Or Thomas Edison if he saw the ability for the world to watch as that first step was taken on the moon.
As Americans, we have a great legacy of being able to pull together to solve critical infrastructure challenges. But we should also feel a great responsibility to not only plan, design, implement and operate these critical infrastructure systems effectively, but like those that have gone before us, to be stakeholders in our country and pass on that great legacy for generations to come.