On this Fourth of July — on this particular Fourth of July in 2018 — let us remember that our fellow Americans are not the enemy.

We are, at the very least, fellow Americans. And we are, at the very most, fellow Americans.

We must remember that when our Founding Fathers broke from mother England, it was complicated, deathly and purely treasonous.

And our Founding Fathers, when they weren’t working together to unshackle the American people from the yoke of an English king who only cared for our taxes, fought constantly amongst themselves over what would become the United States of America.

The key word being “United.”

If you have in mind that our Founding Fathers met in orderly fashion and agreed on everything, you have read history poorly.

The one thing they agreed on was truly revolutionary: that a people could govern itself.

On this day, we celebrate 242 years of self rule — absolutely and utterly unprecedented in the history of humankind.

That history has not been a clear, straight or even kind road.

We must remember that as we near a quarter of a millennium as a country.

Nothing that is really decent or true or worthwhile is easy.

So we must remember that in this time which, even if difficult, is hardly the most unpleasant in our history.

Even if someone was kicked out of a restaurant — which is stupid and petty — no one was beaten up or killed.

That has happened in our history. The sad part of where we’ve been has included not just a brutal Civil War but shootings and bombings and beatings and incarcerations.

At this time in our existence, we are much better than in the past.

But we can be even better.

Not everyone needs to get along and agree everyday.

Yet we can agree that we are fellow citizens of the greatest experiment in history, that we can peacefully govern a wide range of needs, people and contradictions.

We are the UNITED States of America.

And not one of our fellow Americans is our enemy.

From the Burlington (N.C.) Times-News.