Friday, July 4, 2008

Today we declare

We declare that all people are created equal. We declare that we should, and shall, govern ourselves. We declare that we shall embrace opportunities, pursue our dreams, and always strive for greater purpose. We declare that we can live together, one nation, under no one but God.

This we declare because we want the world to hear it. This we declare because we want the world to hold us to it. This we declare because we believe it, because we will live up to it, because we can live up to it. Yes, we can.

Today we celebrate a great declaration signed on this date 232 years ago. The founders of this nation signed a declaration of independence, and a declaration of so much more. They set out for us a vision of a nation that would act as a beacon of hope and freedom, a nation that would come to lead the world, a nation that would come to change the world. Of those to whom much is given, much is expected. My friends, we have much to live up to, because this nation has given us so much.

We must continue to lead the world, and that means regaining the world’s trust in us and our trust in the world. So today we declare that we still hold our Constitution dear. Today we declare that we place our rights above our fears, our values above our differences, and with head held high we shall meet the world’s challenges without ever abandoning our principles or our allies. We declare that we will rebuild at home and help to rebuild abroad, because we do not have to choose one over the other. We declare that we are one nation, and that we live in one world, under no one but God.

The power of ideals lived up to will always prevail. Let us live up to the promise of America, and if we do that, we can change the world. That is what we celebrate today.

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