Marine veteran Jesse Kelly writes at the Federalist about the willingness to die for America. He focuses on the nation’s basic principles.

America is about self-governance and limited government. It is that simple. That is why those brave men risked (and gave) their lives 242 years ago. They were tired of a powerful centralized government. They were tired of having their labor taxed and confiscated.

They wanted to set up a new country, a country where the federal government would be small, limited, and noninvasive. In fact, the Founders were so concerned about federal power that they added a Bill of Rights to the Constitution. Some argued that the Bill of Rights was unnecessary and redundant because the Constitution already laid out specifically what the federal government could and could not do. But the Founders were so fanatical about self-governance and limited government, they decided it was better to err on the side of overkill. That is America.

America is not whatever you want it to be. America is not freedom from worry. It is not free stuff from the taxpayer. It is not a guarantee that you will be successful in life. It’s not even the flag or the troops or the fireworks. America isn’t “paying taxes.” It is not “never having to worry about your medical bills.” In short, America is not customizable to your fleeting whims or whatever you are “feeling” whenever the fireworks are sparkling in your eyes.