She’s a bit tired and has been attacked from all sides especially lately, but the good ol’ US of A is looking pretty darn good for 239 years old.
It’s easy to take potshots at a country so strong after so long. It’s easy to claim it was all ill-begotten and horrible. It’s easy to pretend it’s not the best, brightest star in a galaxy of hundreds of nations — most of which envy our way of life.
We have a society that was built on the idea that the Creator intended for all men to be free and liberated. It was an experiment that put into action the idea that through drive, desire, ambition and entrepreneurship we all could truly have a chance at success. It was imperfect for sure — but, we’ve shed a ton of blood and tears making this a more perfect nation. It must be working because those who don’t live here and weren’t privileged enough to be born here, can’t wait to get here.
This is a country where you’re not only allowed to be exceptional, it’s actually recommended and supported. Another sign this experiment is a successful one? The big government, high tax, I’m-smarter-than-you crowd is doing all it can to promote apathy, hate and division.
Here’s hoping you enjoyed family, friends, great eats and drinks today. And, here’s also hoping you feel the love down deep in your heart and soul for this nation as my family and I do. We are truly blessed and we owe it to the sacrifices made by so many who came before us and, equally, to those who still fight for out life, liberty and pursuit of happiness every day. I’ll leave you with the words of a man so steeped in his love of country that today, 26 years after he left office, is still heralded as one of the best presidents in our history:
Address to the Nation on Independence Day
July 4, 1986
President Ronald Reagan
“My fellow Americans:
In a few moments the celebration will begin here in New York Harbor. It’s going to be quite a show. I was just looking over the preparations and thinking about a saying that we had back in Hollywood about never doing a scene with kids or animals because they’d steal the scene every time. So, you can rest assured I wouldn’t even think about trying to compete with a fireworks display, especially on the Fourth of July.
My remarks tonight will be brief, but it’s worth remembering that all the celebration of this day is rooted in history. It’s recorded that shortly after the Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia celebrations took place throughout the land, and many of the former Colonists — they were just starting to call themselves Americans — set off cannons and marched in fife and drum parades.
What a contrast with the sober scene that had taken place a short time earlier in Independence Hall. Fifty-six men came forward to sign the parchment. It was noted at the time that they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honors. And that was more than rhetoric; each of those men knew the penalty for high treason to the Crown. “We must all hang together,” Benjamin Franklin said, “or, assuredly, we will all hang separately.” And John Hancock, it is said, wrote his signature in large script so King George could see it without his spectacles. They were brave. They stayed brave through all the bloodshed of the coming years. Their courage created a nation built on a universal claim to human dignity, on the proposition that every man, woman, and child had a right to a future of freedom.
For just a moment, let us listen to the words again: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” Last night when we rededicated Miss Liberty and relit her torch, we reflected on all the millions who came here in search of the dream of freedom inaugurated in Independence Hall. We reflected, too, on their courage in coming great distances and settling in a foreign land and then passing on to their children and their children’s children the hope symbolized in this statue here just behind us: the hope that is America. It is a hope that someday every people and every nation of the world will know the blessings of liberty.”
Happy Independence Day!