Friday, December 31, 2010
Quotes from the video:
"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." Declaration of Independence
"If the white man wants to live in peace with the Indian, he can live in peace. ... Treat all men alike. Give them all the same law. Give them all an even chance to live and grow. All men were made by the same Great Spirit Chief. They are all brothers. The Earth is the mother of all people, and all people should have equal rights upon it. ... Let me be a free man, free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade ... where I choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers, free to think and talk and act for myself, and I will obey every law, or submit to the penalty." ... Chief Joseph * Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt
(Nez Perces' Tribe); (1840-1904)
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation we began by declaring that 'all men are created equal.' When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read ' all men are created equal, except Negroes and foreigners and Catholics.' When it comes to this, I shall prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy hypocrisy." President Lincoln (1861-65)
"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, ensure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." (1787)
"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. " Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-68)
"The glory of this land has been its capacity for transcending the moral evils of our past. For example, the long struggle of minority citizens for equal rights, once a source of disunity and civil war, is now a point of pride for all Americans. We must never go back. There is no room for racism, anti-Semitism, or other forms of ethnic and racial hatred in this country." President Reagan (1981-89)
God Bless America is generally accepted as our unofficial National Anthem.
Written by Irving Berlin, a first generation European immigrant of Jewish heritage, Berlin's simple and eloquent song was first introduced by Kate Smith during an Armistice Day radio broadcast in 1938.
Berlin gave the royalties of the song to the God Bless America Fund for redistribution to the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of the USA.
On September 21, 2001, Celine Dion, a Canadian, performed the song on the TV special America: A Tribute to Heroes; a memorial show to those lost on 9/11. I have rarely heard a more heart-felt or beautiful rendition than hers.
The mix of first generation immigrant, and respectful foreigner, give tribute to our land of the brave and home of the free.
Included are memorable quotes from our country's leaders demonstrating how far we have come as a great nation ... in my humble opinion, the greatest nation! The nation that many around the world continue to dream of immigrating to - because of the very ideology we strive towards.
Not usually included is the spoken introduction to the song:
While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that's free,
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer.
God bless America, land that I love
Stand beside her and guide her
Through the night with the light from above
From the mountains To the prairies,
To the ocean white with foam
God bless America, My home sweet home.
There are many who would destroy this place we have fought so hard to safe-guard. I have friends who live in countries where they cannot even draw a cartoon, or speak in humor or protest against their sovereigns, which has given me an even deeper appreciation for the rights and liberties we hold self evident.
Being a patriot does not mean we can't question those in authority ... in fact ... we'd be less than patriotic if we didn't. Thank God, I live in a country I can do just that.
We have traversed the bigotries and rhetoric of generations past ... and the past need be learned from as not to be repeated. It (the pain and moral evils) also need be put to rest in order that a great nation can continue to move forward with it's manifest destiny.
I am proud to be an American!