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Public Papers - 1989

Message on the Observance of Independence Day

1989-06-30

Like most of you, Barbara and I will be celebrating Independence Day with family. Our Fourth of July wish for all Americans is a day of enjoyment, a day spent with family and friends, a day celebrated the traditional way, with picnics, parades, and fireworks.

But as you celebrate, I want to ask you to take a moment sometime before the last of the fireworks light the sky to think about what this day means, to think about how fortunate we Americans are. That first Fourth of July in 1776 was more than the birth of our nation. It was the first day of a new era, an era that changed the world, that proved that men and women could govern themselves in freedom.

Today, 213 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the idea of democracy is stronger than ever in our nation and around the world. The symbols of liberty speak with power to people everywhere. Lady Liberty in New York Harbor, the goddess of democracy in Tiananmen Square, the flag -- our banner of freedom -- flying over thousands of town halls across America -- these symbols tell us, they tell the world, that the most momentous idea in all of human history -- freedom -- is alive and unconquerable.

I ask all Americans to remember the precious legacy of liberty we enjoy. Thank you. God bless all of you, and God bless the United States of America on this Fourth of July weekend.

George Bush Presidential Library and Museum
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