An Independence Day for the World

It’s Independence Day for us here in the United States of America, of course.
And to celebrate, TTLB is — for the moment — enforcing a policy of pursuing only frivolous matters this morning. No deep thought from this bear on his holiday!
But one brief exception, to sum up my sentiments of the day. I shant quote the Declaration of Independence, nor the words of our Founding Fathers: take a quick tour around the Blogosphere; you’ll find many fine bloggers have already beaten me to that.
I wish and hope simply this: that on this day, Americans all recognize and remember that we are the inheritors of the greatest experiment in freedom and liberty ever to grace this planet. The torch was lit 226 years ago, fed by sparks that burned dimly and sometimes brightly for hundreds and thousands of years before that. And it has been passed down from generation to generation, coming to reside — but not rest — in our grasp. What we do with it is up to us.
We are not the sole keepers of this flame; and that is part of its beauty. The American ideal, at its purest and most honest, is not about nation; it is not about country or land or borders. It is about ensuring that, as Lincoln said, no man need be a slave; and no man need be a master. It is about freedom.
And so, to my visitors today from Belgium, from Brazil and Japan and Finland; from Israel and New Zealand and Canada and Norwary; from Germany and Yugoslavia and Demark and Australia and the Netherlands and Greece, from every nation across the globe and yes, even from Great Britain itself, I pose to you the reverse of the declaration John Kennedy made so famously in Berlin:
“All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words ‘Ich bin ein Berliner.’ ”
On this day, I say to you that all free men everywhere are indeed citizens of America. And I ask you to join us in celebrating our Independence Day.