Wednesday, July 1, 2009
How I love the Fourth of July! I just can't help it--I'm an unabashed patriot, lover of history, appreciator of those who came and saw and founded, who had dreams much bigger than mine. And in honor of this Independence Day, I offer the following thoughts (these folks say it much better than I, anyhow):
"You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism."
~ Erma Bombeck
"Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better."
~ Albert Camus
"Where liberty dwells, there is my country."
~ Benjamin Franklin
"We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it."
~ William Faulkner
"There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America."
~ William J. Clinton
"My God! How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy!"
~ Thomas Jefferson
"Freedom is the oxygen of the soul."
~ Moshe Dayan
"The real democratic idea is, not that every man shall be on a level with every other, but that every one shall have liberty, without hindrance, to be what God made him."
~ Henry Ward Beecher
"A patriot is he whose public conduct is regulated by one single motive, the love of his country; who, as an agent in parliament, has, for himself, neither hope nor fear, neither kindness nor resentment, but refers every thing to the common interest."
~ Samuel Johnson
"This, then, is the state of the union: free and restless, growing and full of hope. So it was in the beginning. So it shall always be, while God is willing, and we are strong enough to keep the faith."
~ Lyndon B. Johnson
"I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain."
~ John Adams
"I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death."
~ Patrick Henry
"The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the republican government, are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally stacked, on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people."
~ George Washington
"Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it."
~ George Bernard Shaw
"Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels."
~ Mark Twain
"There, I guess King George will be able to read that."
~ John Hancock, after signing the Declaration of Independence
"Abandon your animosities and make your sons Americans!"
~ Robert E. Lee
"America is another name for opportunity. Our whole history appears like a last effort of divine providence on behalf of the human race."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."
~ Abraham Lincoln
"It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope."
~ Robert Kennedy
"May I never wake up from the American dream."
~ Carrie Latet