Herewith, the fourth and final verse of the Star Spangled Banner:

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

 

 

Herewith, the first and final paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence:

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, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

 

Quin’s note:

This is the greatest nation on Earth not because we are the richest, not because we are the most powerful, not because we have the most natural resources, but because we revere the freedom that comes from a God who gives individual worth to each human being.

It’s doubtful that de Tocqueville ever actually wrote that “America is great because America is good,” but whoever actually said it first was right. We are a nation built by the courage and the honor, the sacred honor, of millions of patriots who love liberty and who are willing to be responsible enough to make a moral case for that liberty and for right, justice and decency, and to present that case, again and again, to the world.

This Fourth of July, let us celebrate — and let us renew a commitment not just to libertinism, but to the proper, self-regulated exercise of ordered liberty with a sense of respect for that which is not just in our self-interest, but our enlightened self-interest… the self-interest, not the selfishness, of a people right and just and worthy.

Let us celebrate, yes, but let us also elevate our sights, our standards, and our actions.

Let us be both great and good. And let the well-merited patriotism shine through.

 

 

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