In observance of Independence Day, we’re sharing a speech President Barack Obama gave for a weekly address in July 2014.
It was 238 years ago that our Founders came together in Philadelphia to launch our American experiment. There were farmers and businessmen, doctors and lawyers, ministers and a kite-flying scientist.
Those early patriots may have come from different backgrounds and different walks of life, but they were united by a belief in a simple truth: that we are all created equal, that we are all endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Over the years, that belief has sustained us through war and Depression, peace and prosperity. It’s helped us build the strongest democracy, the greatest middle class, and the most powerful military the world has ever known. And today, there isn’t a nation on Earth that wouldn’t gladly trade places with the United States of America.
But our success is only possible because we have never treated those self-evident truths as self-executing. Generations of Americans have marched, organized, petitioned, fought, and even died to extend those rights to others, to widen the circle of opportunity for others, and to perfect this Union we love so much.
That’s why I want to say a special thanks to the men and women of our Armed Forces and the families who serve with them, especially those servicemembers who spent this most American of holidays serving your country far from home.
You keep us safe, and you keep the United States of America a shining beacon of hope for the world. And for that, you and your families deserve not only the appreciation of a grateful nation, but our enduring commitment to serve you as well as you’ve served us.
God bless you all, and have a great weekend.