Wednesday, July 04, 2007

We celebrate Independence Day!

It has bugged me for years whenever I've heard people say, "Happy Fourth," meaning simply, the fourth of July. It's just a date. If my wife is reading this right now, she'd tell you how I go off on a monologue every time. What's the meaning of that date? Like Christmas, Easter, and Memorial Day, it's just time off to many Americans, not a commemoration of something important, nay sacred. It means more than that to me, as you can probably guess, so I've rounded up a few things that express it far better than I could. Happy Independence Day - Nathan

"We have this day restored the Sovereign to whom alone men ought to be obedient." --Samuel Adams, reflecting on the original Independence Day

"Democracy extends the sphere of individual freedom, socialism restricts it. Democracy attaches all possible value to each man; socialism makes each man a mere agent, a mere number. Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: quality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude." --Alexis de Tocqueville

"The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence." --John Adams

"For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us. So that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a by-word through the world. We shall open the mouths of enemies to speak evil of the ways of God, and all professors for God's sake. We shall shame the faces of many of God's worthy servants, and cause their prayers to be turned into curses upon us till we be consumed out of the good land whither we are going. ... Therefore let us choose life, that we and our seed may live, by obeying His voice and cleaving to Him, for He is our life and our prosperity." - John Winthrop, aboard the ship Arabella lying off the shore of Massachusetts in 1630

"The Sun never shined on a cause of greater worth." --Thomas Paine (1776)

"I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not." --John Adams (1776)

"Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!" --George Washington (1779)

"The American war is over; but this far from being the case with the American revolution. On the contrary, nothing but the first act of the drama is closed. It remains yet to establish and perfect our new forms of government, and to prepare the principles, morals, and manners of our citizens for these forms of government after they are established and brought to perfection." --Benjamin Rush (1786)

"[T]he flames kindled on the 4 of July 1776, have spread over too much of the globe to be extinguished by the feeble engines of despotism; on the contrary, they will consume these engines and all who work them. ... The Declaration of Independence...[is the] declaratory charter of our rights, and the rights of man." --Thomas Jefferson (1821)

"On the distinctive principles of the Government ...of the U. States, the best guides are to be found in...The Declaration of Independence, as the fundamental Act of Union of these States." --James Madison (1825)

"Every child in America should be acquainted with his own country. He should read books that furnish him with ideas that will be useful to him in life and practice. As soon as he opens his lips, he should rehearse the history of his own country." --Noah Webster

"We love death. The U.S. loves life. That is the big difference between us." - Osama bin Laden

"It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived." - General George S. Patton, Jr

"It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier, who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag." - USMC Chaplain Dennis Edward O'Brian

"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty." -John F. Kennedy

"All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: the United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you." - President Bush, second inaugural address, Jan. 20

"I don't want a black history month. Black history is American history." - Actor Morgan Freeman on "60 Minutes"

"Always stand on principle, even if you stand alone." —John Quincy Adams

"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'... I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character... And if America is to be a great nation this must become true." —Martin Luther King, Jr.

"I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." —Thomas Jefferson

"The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the republican model of government, are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American People." - George Washington from his First Inaugural Address, 30 April 1789

"Proclaim liberty throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof." —Inscription on the Liberty Bell (Leviticus 25:10)

A history of The Declaration of Independence

After all, we're Americans! - Mokuren Dojo
Happy 231st Birthday, America - Captain's Quarters
Freedom isn't Free - Mudville Gazette
Independence Day - The Patriot Post
Wonderfully Spared - WSJ OpinionJournal

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