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Mayors of Utah Valley: Celebrating America’s grandeur on the 4th of July

By Katie Koivisto - Special to the Daily Herald | Jul 2, 2022

Isaac Hale, Daily Herald file photo

Homes stand and vehicles drive along roads in northwestern Lehi on Tuesday, June 23, 2020.

Two months ago, I had a very interesting conversation with some of my husband’s family members. My husband was born and raised in Finland. At the age of 18, he performed mandatory, civic duty for his country, in which he served a year and a half in the Finnish military. With the onset of the current affairs between Ukraine and Russia, I pivoted a discussion I had with one of my brothers-in-law to the idea of what Finland might do if they suddenly found themselves involved in that war.

Would my husband return to his home country to defend it with his brothers? Would the Scandinavian countries consider joining NATO? What kind of repercussions would this have for Finland, and the rest of the world?

My brother-in-law was patient and kind. He reminded me of Finland’s past success with the former Soviet Union, and that the Finns have what is called “Sisu” (a Finnish word/concept described as stoic determination, tenacity of purpose, grit, bravery, resilience and hardiness). He reassured me that Finland would be fine — and that the worst-case scenario would be for Finland to reach out to its “friends” for help if necessary. “Your friends?” I asked

“Yes, the Yankees. You Yanks tend to save the day from time to time,” he replied.

It was in that moment that my young, immature mind created a paradigm shift, and my heart swelled with pride. Only then did I fully understand the magnitude of the impact that the US-of-A has on the rest of the world. The liberties, freedoms and protections that America offers does not simply stop at her borders. Instead, she enables those opportunities for millions of others around the world.

Courtesy photo

Katie Koivisto.

And oh, how the world is watching and is grateful for her services.

This month, the United States of America will celebrate her 246th year of independence. The Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays, and it’s not a day on the calendar that I simply take for granted. I know that I am fully indebted to the men and women who served, and who continue to serve, this amazing county. Because of them, my family and I have a safe and comfortable life.

President Ronald Reagan said it best, “Let the Fourth of July always be a reminder that here in this land, for the first time, it was decided that man is born with certain God-given rights; that government is only a convenience created and managed by the people, with no powers of its own except those voluntarily granted to it by the people. We sometimes forget that truth, and we never should.”

Katie Koivisto was first elected to the Lehi City Council, where she currently serves, in 2019.

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