America is the promise of liberty and justice for all.
Sometimes we forget that promise. Sometimes we misunderstand it. Sometimes we even get stupid, because we have forgotten who we are supposed to be. We get scared, angry, desperate.
But when we stop, when we remember, when we recommit ourselves to our better selves, we rediscover not only our nation’s potential for greatness, but our own as well.
Our greatness comes from our ability to imagine better — to see America as a vision of a better future, for ourselves, for our children. America was built by men and women who took that journey step by step. Yes, mistakes were made, crimes were committed, horrific things were done, slavery, genocide, eco-catastrophe — because there were many different visions of a better future, [and] because greed and corruption tainted our commitments.
Some of us have learned better. Some of us have not. And those with the wisdom to see the potential for damage always run the risk of falling into despair.
But we’re still a young nation, still suffering from our own growing pains, still learning how to be a nation, with all the responsibilities that attend. As long as we the people can remember what the founding fathers promised — a commitment to justice — we will be okay.
And those who forget that commitment… History will have it’s say about them as well. They will be the examples of what not to do and who not to be.
Our job, as we approach America’s birthday, is to celebrate the possibilities that are still available — and recommit ourselves to create them as realities: a nation that works for ALL of us, with no one and nothing left out.”