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Happy Independence Day!

Every Fourth of July, we all spend the day reflecting on how fortunate we are to live in this great nation.  I’m so grateful to be an American!  And while I certainly have thoughts about what makes our country “the land of the brave and the home of the free,” I thought it would be good to share the thoughts of a few Americans who were much more important – and much more eloquent – than me.  Here are some of my favorite quotes about what makes our country special:

Oh, it’s home again and home again, America for me!  I want a ship that’s westward bound to plough the rolling sea, To the blessed land of Room Enough beyond the ocean bars,  Where the air is full of sunlight and the flag is full of stars.

– Henry Van Dyke, author and diplomat

I am an American, free born and free bred, where I acknowledge no man as my superior except for his own worth, or as my inferior, except for his own demerit. 

– Theodore Roosevelt, president

In the view of the Constitution, in the eye of the law, there is in this country no superior, dominant, ruling class of citizens.   There is no caste here.  Our Constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens.  In respect of civil rights, all citizens are equal before the law.  The humblest is the peer of the most powerful.

– John Marshall Harlan, Supreme Court Justice

America was not built on fear.  America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.

– Harry Truman, president

Where Liberty dwells, there is my country.

– Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father

Down through history, there have been many revolutions, but virtually all of them only exchanged one set of rulers for another set of rulers.  Ours was the only truly philosophical revolution.  It declared that government would have only those powers granted to it by the people.

– Ronald Reagan, president

We are called the nation of inventors.  And we are.  We could still claim that title and wear its loftiest honors if we had stopped with the first thing we ever invented, which was human liberty.

– Mark Twain, author

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that Americans will pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.  

– John F. Kennedy, president

America is another name for opportunity.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson, poet

Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. 

– Abraham Lincoln, president

Whether you’re a president, a poet, or just an ordinary citizen like me, it’s clear that we are truly blessed to live in the United States of America.   As the poet Annette Wynne once wrote:

Mountainland, fountainland, shoreland and sea, God’s land thou art surely – His gift to the free; How blest are thy children wherever they roam to claim thee their country, their hope, and their home.

On behalf of everyone at Eastern Planning Inc., I hope you have a very happy Independence Day!

Regards,

Matthew Blecker

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