Enjoy this great day and remember the American Cause. Here are two of my favorite speeches on the day. Calvin Coolidge in 1926, and Frederick Douglass in 1852. A paragraph from Coolidge:
"About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers."
Cal, in fact, can't be topped on the Declaration.
That's the truth. Thanks, Peter S. I wish I were in Cal's Plymouth today. There's another seemingly timeless thing, a place.
Happy Birthday America. May we ever endeavor to deserve her...
If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary.
Game, set, match! That is perfect. God bless America as we remember and try to approximate the words of that Declaration.
We went to a terrific ceremony at the Old Stone Fort in Schoharie, NY. A suitably decked-out "Tory" began the proceedings with an ominous proclamation from George III. Then a rag-tag "militia" (including young boys with plywood muskets) entered as the Tory backed off, muttering to himself. We had various readings, including Patrick Henry, Abigail Adams, and some ladies from North Carolina. The Declaration (complete) was read in a full voice. After the flag exchange, the Tory returned to surrender his sword to the militia captain. All in all a perfect local civic liturgy, before a crowd of about fifty, many of them children.