This past weekend while most were celebrating our nation’s independence there were those who were toppling statues, burning flags, and shouting “America was never great!” While it is their right to make such claims I would quickly remind them that it is because of America’s greatness that they have that freedom of speech, something that most places and most people in the world do not have.
America is not perfect, nor has it ever claimed to be, but it does strive towards perfection; that is stated in our Constitution - “a more perfect union.” America’s greatness is not limited to one political party, but is found in all patriots regardless of party. America’s greatness is not limited to one state or set of states, whether we call them red or blue, but is in all its states. America’s greatness is not restricted to one generation, but is in every generation. And, America’s greatness is not just found in its government, but is also found in its governed. As President Lincoln reminded us, “that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
America was great in 1776 when its 13 colonies, each independent of the other, stood against what was then the world’s leading power in order that the whimsical rule of one man would not have dominion over the many. They called it “Liberty” and they pledged their wealth and lives to guarantee it.
America was great in 1789 when its representatives again gathered to provide for us a governing document that stood uniquely in the world - so that the God-given rights of its citizens would be duly protected.
America was great in 1812 when again the rule of the monarchy sought to extinguish the flames of freedom by putting to the torch our nation’s capital. Yet despite overwhelming odds freedom’s flame burned even brighter.
America was great in 1836 when a small group of Texans and those who wished to identify with Texas stood against another dictator despite certain death and defeat so that the greater good could be preserved.
America was great in 1861 when 360,222 Union soldiers laid down their lives in order to right a national wrong and provide freedom to all its citizens regardless of the color of their skin and to end the abomination that was slavery.
America was great in 1917 when it entered a war that took the lives of millions and threatened freedom and liberty worldwide.
America was great in 1942 when again it stood against another dictator who would have allowed his fascist-socialist ideology to rule over the world and who would and did put to death all who opposed him as is testified by all those who suffered under his rule and were liberated by America.
America was great in the 1950’s when its freedom loving people stood against the Iron and Bamboo Curtains where over 65 million were slaughtered by its own governments.
America was great in 1962 when its young President drew a line and said unstable nations, such as Cuba, would not be allowed to have its hand over a nuclear weapon.
America was great in 1964 when the civil rights act was finally passed, righting the wrong that would have been corrected had Lincoln lived through a second term.
America was great in 1990 when once more its warriors were sent to liberate those taken captive by a dictator who wished to expand his boarders at the cost of others.
These are but a very few examples of the thousands of time throughout its history that America has been great. Millions have been freed because of America’s greatness. We breathe the air of liberty because of America’s greatness. We work, worship, play and gather together peaceably because of America’s greatness. And, despite the current insanity that has overtaken a radical few - we will persevere because America is and always has been Great!