07/01/2014 05:07 pm ET Updated Aug 31, 2014

Service and Sacrifice: The Foundation of July 4th

Fourth of July is the one holiday a year where as Americans, we celebrate our nation's birth through grilling and lighting fireworks. Of course, being American, I love a good cookout and awesome firework show to cap off the day but this year, Fourth of July will mean much more to me. I will be celebrating America's birthday through reflection of the personal service and sacrifice it took to make our nation what it is today.

From our forefathers who created the Constitution to our men and women serving in America's military, personal service and sacrifice have given Americans the ability to pursue their dream of a better life for themselves and family. Those who served in uniform on the streets and overseas sacrifice so much for those they do not know. We will honor and remember these individuals for their courage and selflessness but we also should be aware of the importance of personal and national service.

I'm not calling for a military draft. Let's be honest, not everyone is cut out for the military but service does not mean wearing a uniform. It means contributing to something bigger than yourself. It means going into the local communities and tackling the challenges ahead. Many Americans are facing homeless, unemployment, and hunger. If we all took time to answer the call of national service, our nation could provide the support of ending these issues. Imagine what we could do with the extra time we have. Even if it's a little, that time could greatly and positively impact individuals. With an immense and diverse service movement, we can truly add depth to personal service. It is a sacrifice we should all make to each other in hopes to continue moving America forward.

The time is now. I ask this Fourth of July, when grilling those hotdogs on the back porch or lighting fireworks, you take a moment to think about a course of action on how we can make this country better. We haven't put enough time or thought into it and it is time that we do. We must transform the ideology of service from voluntary to obligatory. It is part of being an America - to sacrifice and serve your country on the streets, in the classroom or on the battlefield.

As a great president once said "Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country."