This Fourth of July I have the honor of again participating in the world-renowned Huntington Beach Fourth of July parade.

The tradition of the parade began on July 4, 1904, when Huntington Beach commemorated Henry Huntington and Isaias Hellman's first electric passenger train linking the area with Long Beach and Los Angeles. This is one of our most famous events in Huntington Beach, and this year marks the first time our colorful parade will be televised live on a major network across California.

Thinking about the Fourth in Huntington Beach always reminds me of many good years spent with friends watching the parade, and long afternoons of barbecuing followed by awe-inspiring fireworks shows off the Huntington Beach Pier.

The Fourth of July also reminds me of the significance of our Independence Day, established by the bravery and courage of our founding fathers proclaiming their right to be free from oppressive governments unrestrained by the rule of law.

Looking back to July 4, 1776, our forefathers risked their lives by signing the Declaration of Independence that stated to the world that "these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states." The Fourth of July marked the birth of our United States and our independence from England.

These first Americans came to a new country looking to escape the tyranny of a dictatorial government and a failed economic system with a simple dream. They wanted to live free, to govern themselves fairly with equal representation, and pursue a life where hard work enabled an individual to create their own success.

While many things have changed since the time of our Revolution, the themes we Americans fight for remain the same. We continue to fight for the dream of a nation with unalienable rights endowed equally to all — among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. While this weekend is a time for us to relax with family and friends, it is also a time for us to remember our American Dream, the one which so many have died for, and from which our young nation was created.

Ours was and is the courageous choice to form a government of the people, by the people, and for the people — American people who are determined to live free from oppressive governments and live in a country where the rule of law must be respected by all, including our elected leaders and even our president. This freedom is the legacy of our Declaration of Independence; it's why we fight, and why we celebrate this uniquely American holiday.

Join me as I represent the people of the 72nd Assembly District in our historic parade in Huntington Beach on Main Street on July Fourth. As we all enjoy our national holiday, let us take a moment to remember the hard fought victories that define us as Americans, and let us make sure that our country and our leaders never lose sight or take for granted what those victories have achieved for this great nation. Happy Fourth of July!

Assemblyman TRAVIS ALLEN, R-Huntington Beach, represents the 72nd Assembly District in the California Legislature.