July 4th is a date we always remember. Not only because it’s a holiday for fireworks, barbecues, games and picnics, but because July 4th is a day in history when the Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, signing the 13 colonies as independent states from Great Britain. Freedom was beginning to ring loud and clear.
John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and others gathered together and signed one of the most important papers in the history of the world. This was not just any paper; this was a declaration to the world. Thomas Jefferson and the others had a vision of what freedom means, a vision of what America should be, a vision of democracy and a vision of liberty.
Today, 236 years later, it seems that sometimes our freedom can be challenged. Rest area commercialization, tolling and excessive credit card fees are just some examples of obstacles that we as truckstop operators must overcome every day. These obstacles will inhibit our ability to compete fairly as we serve our customers. Fair competition is what America and the free market system is built upon. If the ban on rest area commercialization were to be lifted, states would commercialize rest areas to raise their revenue at your expense, thus causing unfair competition and silencing the bells of freedom.
Keep the bells of freedom ringing in 2012. NATSO is the organization to have on our side as we fight to keep the freedom bells ringing. NATSO fights every day on and off the Hill on your behalf lobbying against rest area commercialization, tolling and for fair fees. In early March NATSO made us aware of an amendment that was to be introduced by Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio). This amendment was written to lift the ban on rest area commercialization. The word was out and the amendment was headed to the Senate floor for a vote.
But NATSO was ready for a fight!
The staff of NATSO took on this amendment with full force by calling senators’ offices and focusing especially on those senators who were undecided on which way they would vote. The NATSO staff asked the senators not to vote for the Portman amendment and they explained why this amendment would hurt so many truckstops. NATSO, with the help of many truckstop operators, defeated the Portman Amendment on March 13 by one of the widest margins in history, 86 to 12! The Portman amendment went down in flames! Thanks to the unfailing efforts of NATSO and many truckstop operators, we proved once again that the freedom bells in America are still ringing.
So as you celebrate this Fourth of July with your barbecues, fireworks and picnics, take a moment and reflect on what independence is and what our forefathers did for us. Let’s make sure we always keep our sights on the bells of freedom … Let Freedom Ring!
This article originally ran in Stop Watch magazine. Stop Watch provides in-depth content to assist NATSO members in improving their travel plaza business operations and provides context on trends and news affecting the industry.
The magazine is mailed to NATSO members bimonthly. If you are a member and not receiving Stop Watch, submit a request to be added to the mailing list. Not a member? Join today or submit a request to receive additional information.
Subscribe to Updates
NATSO provides a breadth of information created to strengthen travel plazas’ ability to meet the needs of the travelling public in an age of disruption. This includes knowledge filled blog posts, articles and publications. If you would like to receive a digest of blog post and articles directly in your inbox, please provide your name, email and the frequency of the updates you want to receive the email digest.