Public Papers - 1992
Message on the Observance of Independence Day
As we Americans celebrate this 216th anniversary of our Nation's independence, we give thanks not only for our enduring heritage of liberty under law but also for the continuing expansion of democratic ideals around the globe. Blessed with an unbroken legacy of freedom and with unparalleled peace and prosperity, the United States stands today as a testament to the wisdom of its Founders -- and as a model to all those peoples who aspire to systems of representative democracy and free enterprise. More than 200 years after our Declaration of Independence was signed, we know that no political creed his proved more just or powerful than 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.''
On this occasion, however, we are also mindful that America's freedom and security were not always readily taken for granted. When our Nation's Founders sought ``separate and equal station'' for this country and proclaimed the American colonies free and independent States, they did so without the assurance of success. Ahead of them lay an uncertain future, and each understood the great risk that he and his compatriots were taking by signing the Declaration of Independence. Today, we can imagine the sense of trepidation that passed in the Signers' hearts as they pledged in support of that document their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.
Yet, with a hope that was stronger than any fear and with a courage worthy of their great convictions, our ancestors launched a revolution of ideas that has continued to sweep the world. Independence Day is, therefore, a time of tremendous pride and inspiration for all Americans.
This year, we have added cause for celebration as Independence Day coincides with the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus's first journey to the Americas. The Columbus Quincentenary likewise recalls courage in the face of the unknown, and as we look to the future of the United States, we are heartened by the example and the achievements of the many pioneers and patriots who have gone before us. The continued preservation of our freedom will require no less industry and resolve on our part, and on this occasion, I offer a special salute to American service members everywhere, who are helping to chart they way to a safer, more peaceful world.
Barbara joins me in sending best wishes to our fellow Americans for a safe and enjoyable Independence Day.