Independence Day 2004 Message

Friday, July 02, 2004

On July 4, 1776, the United States of America was born when the Declaration of Independence, written largely by Thomas Jefferson, explained to the world the reasons the American people were fighting to break from Great Britain and establish a new nation.

Just days before the 50th anniversary of Independence Day, Mr. Jefferson described his hopes for the Declaration in what would be his final letter: "May it be to the world, what I believe it will be…the signal of arousing men to burst the chains…and to assume the blessings and security of self-government."

Today, as we continue the fight against terrorism and move forward in helping the Iraqi people build their own democracy, Jefferson's words are truer than ever. America was the first to found a government upon the idea that all human beings were created with equal rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And since the American Revolution, people all over the world have been inspired by the vision of government based on equal rights, freedom, and opportunity for all.

On July 4, let us honor the "American Dream," the Founders who gave it to us, and the men and women who have died defending it.

I wish you and your family a happy and memorable holiday.

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