In his weekly address this morning, President Obama took the opportunity to not only formally pay respect to our nation’s successes and victories, but to remind us all of what we have survived and overcome (a great depression, a civil war and other major wars and challenges) with what he called our "indomitable spirit":
We are called to remember how unlikely it was that our American experiment would succeed at all; that a small band of patriots would declare independence from a powerful empire; and that they would form, in the new world, what the old world had never known – a government of, by, and for the people.
He challenged us all to establish and define our place in history and to understand "that each of us has a hand in writing America’s destiny":
That is the spirit we are called to show once more. We are facing an array of challenges on a scale unseen in our time. We are waging two wars. We are battling a deep recession. And our economy – and our nation itself – are endangered by festering problems we have kicked down the road for far too long: spiraling health care costs; inadequate schools; and a dependence on foreign oil.And then, for all those who continue to declare that his efforts are too ambitious and will ultimately fail, the President offered this patriotic and defiant message:
These naysayers have short memories. They forget that we, as a people, did not get here by standing pat in a time of change. We did not get here by doing what was easy. That is not how a cluster of 13 colonies became the United States of America.
We are not a people who fear the future. We are a people who make it. And on this July 4th, we need to summon that spirit once more. We need to summon the same spirit that inhabited Independence Hall two hundred and thirty-three years ago today.