Monday, July 4, 2011

Ask Not, What Your Country Can Do For You

But ask what you, can do for your country:

  • Remember always, that no matter how disagreeable it might be, others have the right to say what they will, worship as they will, and live their lives as they will. This nation is founded on the liberty of the individual.
  • The idea behind our nation, is that many come together to form one. Many people form one State; many States form one nation. Despite our differences, and the differences between our States, we are one Nation, indivisible.
  • The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Everything we do must ensure the health, prosperity, and safety of all Americans.
  • In times of crisis, it is important that we band together, and help each other. Even the smallest gift or gesture can mean the world to someone who needs our help.
  • We are all equal. Any person who lives under the mantel of "Citizen of the United States of America," deserves the same rights, privileges, and liberty as any other, no matter what we may think. To think less is to denigrate what those who fought in The Revolutionary War were trying to accomplish.
  • Know our history. Know that we have not always acted honorably, nor decently, but have striven always to advance, to do better, to make up for our missteps. Our nation and its system are not perfect, but each day gives us a new opportunity to right wrongs and work on improving ourselves and our country.
  • Remember that you have responsibilities. The Founding Fathers took a giant leap of faith in handing the governance of the entire nation over to its citizens and their elected representatives, but they thought, deep down, that as serious people, we could handle the challenges. It is important to participate in our democracy. It is important to be engaged in the civil responsibilities that come with citizenship. The system does not operate properly if we remain aloof and unconcerned.
  • Patriotism is not an uncritical adherence to the word and letter of law, or to what has come before. It is doing those things which advance the nation and improve its stature amongst the nations of the world. There is nothing wrong with patriotism, if it is tempered by compassion, concern, and cooperation.
To all you who are Citizens of the United States, and to those who live here who hope to someday know that honor, I bid you a glorious, peaceful, and safe Independence Day.

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