INDEPENDENCE DAY marks more than the birth date of America. It marks the beginning of one of history's greatest and most noble adventures. Today, it continues to unfold, 196 years after that small, brave beginning in Philadelphia where a handful of inspired men pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to a new nation.
For nearly two centuries, through good times and bad, the ideals of individual rights and opportunity that inspired men like Washington, Jefferson and Adams have survived and flourished. More than any other nation of any area, America has truly been the home of the free and the haven of the weak and oppressed from other parts of the world. And the catalyst of American values has transformed the weak and the oppressed into part of a strong and a just people.
Great trials and greater triumphs still lie ahead for us as a people. There are still wrongs to be righted, and new goals of peace, prosperity, justice and a better environment to be met. But as long as we remain true to the ideals of America, as long as our energy does not flag and our faith does not fail, no problem is too great and no evil is too strong to be overcome by a united American people.