Let’s kick off the July 4th weekend with a bang! In honor of Independence Day, here is wisdom for us to ponder from our Founding Fathers about an America worth defending:
“The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men.” Samuel Adams
“Citizens by birth or by choice of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name AMERICAN, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same Religion, Manners, Habits, and political principles. You have in a common cause fought and triumphed together. The independence and Liberty you possess are the work of joint councils and joint efforts — of common dangers, sufferings, and successes.” George Washington’s Farewell Address
“This will be the best security for maintaining our liberties. A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins.” Benjamin Franklin
“Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present Generation to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the Pains to preserve it.” John Adams
“A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor and bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.”
“The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all.”
“I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”
“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” Thomas Jefferson
The America of today is frightening. Donald Trump acts like our constitution doesn’t exist! Germany had concentration camps, we have children of immigrants separated from their parents and put in cages! America is a melting pot, the statue of liberty opens her arms to immigrants yet Trump wants to keep them out! Withe the exception of Native Americans and African Americans we are all immigrants or descendants of! What we did to the Native Americans and what we did to African Americans when we enslaved them doesn’t make our country great!
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I’ve always found it helpful to think of America as aspirational — a place where we aspire and work toward the vision of a country that’s a beacon of light and freedom. Yes we’re flawed, but we’re also flexible — ever evolving, ever moving forward.
Of course you are right too Karin,from one optimist to another! It is not our wonderful country that is flawed per se, it is the people in Washington DC who are elected to serve but who seem determined to destroy our United States!