Public Papers - 1990 - June
Message on the Observance of Independence Day
Each July 4th, people across the United States pause to celebrate the continued success of our Nation's great experiment in self-government. It is a day marked by joyous gatherings with family and friends, by colorful parades and brilliant displays of fireworks -- all the fanfare and festivities that befit a celebration of our freedom.
On this Independence Day, we have added cause for rejoicing: during the past year, in nations that once bore the heavy yoke of totalitarianism, freedom-loving men and women have triumphed over regimes maintained by intimidation and force. The seeds of democratic thought planted on these shores 214 years ago have also taken root around the world.
I am convinced that the people of the United States have inspired many of these changes -- by word, deed, and example -- particularly during the past 45 years. Recognizing the cause of freedom as universal, we have steadfastly defended human rights around the world, holding true to the belief ``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.''
Indeed, it is our devotion to these timeless ideals that has made the United States a model of freedom and a source of hope to so many. Today, as we raise the flag in celebration, we can take great pride in all that it represents. For millions of people around the globe, Old Glory has bid a warm welcome, marking a place of refuge from tyranny and persecution. For millions of others, it has represented the liberty to which all men are heirs. To us, may it always be the cherished symbol of freedom's first home and most steadfast ally on earth.
All Americans have my best wishes for a safe and happy Independence Day. I offer special greetings and a heartfelt salute to those who will be observing the Fourth in Veterans Hospitals and at military installations far from home. The freedom and peace we enjoy would not be possible without your courage and sacrifice. May God bless you.