Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Fourth of July!

(photo courtesy of Julie D.)

We began with a vision enacted as an act of insurrection. In the pursuit of our own destiny as a nation upon the Earth, we became something new. As G.K Chesterton observed, we became the first nation on Earth born not of ethnicity or race, but of creed. While we have all fallen far short of the ideals for which our ancestors committed their lives, we can take heart that they exist:

We may not have realized it then, but our Declaration of Independence established for our America a mission in the world:
It is extremely evident from history and from an accurate reading of “the signs of the times” that the American people have a special mission of service in the world. God has abundantly blessed your forebears and the land they settled in: it is no wonder that he permits so many people throughout the world to place so much hope in America. How many refugees and immigrants have found new life in your land!

I am sure that this visit of yours to Europe is in fact placed under the sign of solidarity - a solidarity that you wish to manifest as representatives of the American people, a solidarity that transcends your national boundaries and reaches out to peoples everywhere.

I am sure that every day you pose questions to yourselves: What can we do to be of service to our people? And what can we do to enable our people to fulfill their role of service to their fellow human beings? In a word: How can we advance the great cause of human solidarity? In your search, you certainly come face to face with immense problems, urgent needs, critical situations. But in all of this you must remain conscious of your mission: service and solidarity. And certainly in this service and solidarity there is great human enrichment for the American people, who are themselves confirmed in their traditions and strengthened in their own identity.

But in order to make a lasting contribution of service, in order to promote the true solidarity of peoples, America must remain faithful to herself as “one Nation under God”, being truly conscious - in the expression of your own Declaration of Independence - of “Nature’s God”, of the “Creator”, of “the Supreme Judge” and of “the Protection of Divine Providence”.

In the awareness of this dependence on God, America is then able to sustain the defense of those rights which your Founding Fathers reverently spoke of as “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”.
Today, we Americans celebrate our independence day. Let us do so mindful that we became free for service to each other and the world. Let us enjoy our freedom in the greatest way we can: by offering ourselves in service to the ones that need us most!
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness...
Happy Fourth of July, everyone!