In 1776 when the American Experiment began it was unique and improbable, to defy the strongest military on the face of the earth at that time was unthinkable. In 1787, Benjamin Franklin was asked about the gathering inside while coming out of Independence Hall in Philadelphia after the signing of the Constitution and he replied, “A Republic if you can keep it.”
239 years later despite many ups and downs, the Republic is still here! Thomas Jefferson later noted “The flames kindled on the 4th of July, 1776 have spread across too much of the globe to be extinguished by the feeble engines of despotism; on the contrary, they will consume the engines and all who work them.” Our country is a beacon for all freedom loving men and women around the world. They still desire to come to our shores. To seek the American dream. The promise is still alive! The candle is still burning!
As President Reagan noted eloquently at Yorktown in 1981, “Our Declaration of Independence has been copied by emerging nations around the globe, its themes adopted in places many of us never heard of. Here in this land, for the first time, it was decide that man is born with certain God-given rights. We the people declared that the government is created by the people for their own convenience.” Let us resolve today, to continue to believe in that promise, in the rule of law, in the shining city on the hill, and in the liberty and ideals we have fought so hard and paid so steep a price to perserve. May the glow of the lamp of liberty and freedom burn bright and burn ever eternal!