Remarks in Easton, Pennsylvania

August 10, 1905

My friends and fellow citizens:

It is a great pleasure for me to be again in the State of Pennsylvania. Passing through to-day along the line of this railway I notice that everywhere you have decorated the buildings with the American flag. I hope that each of us when he sees that flag strives to remember that it not only confers honor upon each of us and is a symbol of the prosperity and happiness to which we have attained, but that it also imposes responsibilities upon each of us. Self-government is not an easy thing, either for the nation or for the individual; and it works really well only when you have a high type of average citizenship. Therefore, in a Republic such as ours we wish to keep ever vividly before us that in addition to congratulating ourselves, as we have a right to do, upon how much we have done, it will do us even more good to think of the things that we have not done and ought to do; and to think of them not in a spirit of bitterness, but with a resolute purpose, each to do his share in trying to make things a little bit better. The way to be a good citizen is to be a good man or woman in your own home; to do your duty by those closest to you, by those immediately dependent upon you. But that is not enough. In addition to that, you have got to do your duty by the State and by your neighbor.

Theodore Roosevelt, Remarks in Easton, Pennsylvania Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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