“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. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
Two hundred thirty two years ago, these words were adopted by the Continental Congress, declaring boldly, not just our independence, but the rights of all mankind. The United States of America, from its inception, has been innovative and bold. There was greatness in the words written by Thomas Jefferson so long ago. That greatness has carried on in the history of this country. The freedom guaranteed by that founding document has been defended by an unbroken line of heroes that have stood on the battlefields of America, Europe, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and all over the world.
Our leaders have stood before the world as statesmen that changed the world, declaring the values and ideals of this American nation. It was these United States that demonstrated that a people oppressed can rise up and defeat an empire. It was these United States that showed Imperial Japan that sleeping giants can awaken. It was these United States that stood before the Third Reich and proved that evil would not be tolerated in the world. We have stood strong in the face of evil, liberated those under the thumb of dictators, commanded an “evil empire” to “tear down this wall” and seen the blessed light of liberty glowing brightly as the wall came tumbling down.
What is it about America that leads us to such greatness? I have always believed that it is not merely the rights and freedoms that we have founded our nation on, but the acknowledgement from whence they came. The “blessings of liberty” are in fact God given. God bless America is not merely a slogan, but a citation of source. We are one nation under God. As a people, we lose sight of that fact, or, more honestly, we ignore that fact at times. Still, the truth of it cannot be underestimated. Our first President, George Washington, so truthfully stated, “It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.”
It is not only the source of our blessings that makes us great, but the source of the government’s mandate. The very foundation upon which our Constitution was built, “We the people.” What makes America great, quite simply is, Americans. Take a look around you today, as we celebrate. That great struggling mass of individuals forms the tightly woven fabric of our nation. Some of them have fought and bled for us on foreign soil. Some have stayed home and shouldered their own burdens, but all have contributed something into our great nation. Let us never forget that we all have a duty to make this system work.
America is still the greatest country in the world. No matter what some would tell you, this country is as strong as the base of a pillar, upon which is lain the world. Though some would gaze at us in loathing, jealousy or spite, our greatness is undeniable. Let each American voice, today raise up the virtues of this great land of ours, and LET FREEDOM RING!