I make it a personal habit to congratulate my American correspondents, and people on forums I frequent, on the 4th of July. Usually, I try to find something important to say to them, but this year, I'm flat out. Maybe I'm just too cynical after some of the recent events, but I don't have anything to say outside of the obvious:
What happened in 1776 was not just important for Americans. It was an event that shook the world – because it proved that the idea of freedom isn't just yet another utopia. That freedom can work. That freedom is an option.
The tyrants can take over the world, and they can make us all slaves. But they cannot change the past. The very fact that at one point in the past, men risked their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to declare liberty, and then maintained this liberty for generations, is a blow to tyrannies of all kinds. And they know it. Men like Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams are dangerous to them, even two centuries later.
The message of Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry and Samuel Adams is uniquely American – but it is also eternal. It reminds us overseas – it reminds all people in the world – that no matter what injustice we are subjected to, we are all, ultimately, free. We deserve to be free. We are no worms, crawling under the throne of some king or almighty leader, we are human beings, with human dignity and freedom inherent to our very nature. That is the message of America.
America is the land of endless opportunity – because America is the land of freedom.
America is the land of limitless wealth – because America is the land of freedom.
America is the land of almost unstoppable military might – because America is the land of freedom.
Never has this power, or this wealth, been America's share because it has some special resources, or minerals, or because its people have the right diet. Forever has America's message been: “Do what we do, accept our message of freedom, and you will be wealthy and powerful and happy, just like us.”
America's message is one that America can share with the world – freely – and does share, freely, without losing her wealth, or its power. Because freedom is not hoarded, nor is it rationed.
The message of freedom is universal. That message, above all else, is America's gift to the world.
Thank you, America.