I am the United States.

I was born on July 4, 1776

and the Declaration of Independence is my birth certificate.

The bloodlines of the world run in my veins

because I offered freedom to the oppressed

I am many things and many people.

I am the United States.

I am 320 million living souls

and the ghosts of millions who have lived and died for me.

I am Nathan Hale, Paul Revere, Washington, Jefferson and Patrick Henry

I am John Paul Jones, The Green Mountain Boys and Davy Crockett

I am Independence Hall, the Monitor and the Merrimac

I am Lee, Grant and Abe Lincoln.

I remember the Alamo, the Maine and Pearl Harbor.

When freedom called, I answered and stayed until it was over

over there.

I am the Brooklyn Bridge, the wheat lands of Kansas

and the granite hills of Vermont.

I am the coal fields of the Virginias and Pennsylvania

the fertile lands of the West

the Golden Gate and the Grand Canyon.

Oh, I am big. I sprawl from the Atlantic to the Pacific

Three million square miles throbbing with industry

I am George Washington Carver, Daniel Webster and Jonas Salk

I am more than 170,000 schools and colleges

and 250,000 churches where my people worship God as they think best

I am the roar of a crowd in a stadium

and the voice of a choir in a cathedral

I am Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower

and John F. Kennedy.

Yes, I am the nation and these are the things that I am.

I was conceived in freedom

and God willing, in freedom I will spend the rest of my days.

May I possess always the integrity, the courage and the strength

to keep myself unshackled, to remain a citadel of freedom

and a beacon of hope to the world.


—Author Unknown

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