Public Papers - 1991
Radio Address to the Nation on the Observance of Independence Day
This is an extraordinary Independence Day, for with recent events still so sharply etched in our minds, we've rarely been more keenly aware of the utter supremacy and the frailty of independence.
Our view of freedom has changed since we last celebrated Independence Day. For America, the finest, most loving nation on Earth, has been at war. Her sons and daughters stood watch on the parched desert and seas of the Gulf, bearing witness by their presence to the vision that compelled us. They added further luster to that vision by helping the victims of Saddam Hussein's aggression.
Throughout the long ordeal, America's people stood watch at home, our yellow-ribboned spirit telling that we believed in liberty, believed in ourselves. It was a scene our country has known before because for 215 years America has been pledged to defend for all people our forefathers' creed that each person has the right to life, to liberty, and to the pursuit of happiness.
This Fourth of July is a day of celebration, a red-white-and-blue day of barbecues and fireworks, of family reunions and loving tributes to the men and women of the Gulf, of Vietnam, of all our national efforts to promote freedom and independence. But July 4, 1991, must also be something more: For all Americans, it must be a day of reflection and rededication.
Together we ask God to bless us. We ask God to guide us. And we pray that in the example of those who stood strong so that others may live in freedom and peace, that this Nation will renew the spirit of brotherhood and commitment that forms our national soul.
Note: This address was recorded at 11:05 a.m. on May 20 in Room 459 of the Old Executive Office Building. It was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on July 4. A tape was not available for verification of the content of this address.