The Corner

What July 4 Means to Us (III)

Fr. Robert Sirico: It is no claim to Manifest Destiny, nor act of xenophobic patriotism to say that America is the boldest, most liberal (in its original sense), most successful, and most prosperous experiment in human experience. To state thus is to state history.  It behooves us, then, to recall Lord Acton’s axiom that “liberty is the delicate fruit of a mature civilization.”

All who love freedom have their part to play in the cultivation of that fruit and to bring liberty to its right end: the truth about human dignity and human destiny. It is a worthy call.

Martha Zoller: July 4 is always about my hero, my dad.  It was the only time of the year he would talk to me about his time in WWII and as a POW in Germany.  He would think about the sacrifices of the guys who didn’t make it home and then he would tell us why we should respect the military and the sacrifices they made from the Founders to today. He’s been gone for 20 years now, but Independence Day will always be about my dad and all the dads like him who gave all for our freedom.

Ben Wattenberg: The U.S. has been a story of ascendant fluctuation.

From 3 million agrarian settlers inhabiting a strip of coastal land, the baby nation grew to be the most influential and powerful nation in the world.

In the early part of 1941, Henry Luce wrote an article entitled “The American Century.” He said that America would get sucked into the global conflagration that became Word War II.

Times would get much worse before they got better. But presciently, he said that when it was all over there would be an American Century. There was.

The title of my new book is The Second American Century.

As St. Ronald said “You ain’t seen nothing yet.”

Otto Reich: July 4 is the birthday of the republic that saved my life and my family’s. I am a refugee from communism. There is no earthly way to repay that generosity. It is a day when I look at the flag with special joy, for I know what the original Fourth has meant for world freedom. I wish the signers of that Declaration could be with us for even one Fourth of July to see what a marvelous chain of events they unleashed. 

David Gelernter: On Independence Day I remember that America is the biblical republic — where the Bible, added spontaneously by George Washington to the national rite of inauguration, brought Puritans and Anglicans and Catholics and Jews together; where new Americans of any religion or none have always been invited to join the others and stand all together on the rock of the Bible, and to choose life — to choose blessing and thrive in this promised land flowing with milk & honey.

NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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