Two-hundred forty-six years in the past, 13 colonies boldly declared their independence. They did so in opposition to the British empire, which on the time possessed the best navy energy on Earth. The explanations for this declaration weren’t spurious, and our Founders didn’t take the results of their resolution flippantly. Benjamin Franklin stated because the Declaration of Independence was signed that “we should all cling collectively, or most assuredly, we are going to all cling individually.” Such have been the stakes of this monumental second in historical past.
Our forebears have been keen to danger the whole lot for a dream. A dream of freedom and of opportunity. A dream that claims irrespective of the place you come from, it doesn’t matter what your background is, for those who work arduous and reside truthfully and justly, you possibly can succeed. That is the American Dream.
At present this dream could appear much less attainable. Considerably due to actual issues: skyrocketing gasoline costs and runaway inflation. However considerably, too, due to false narratives: America is racist, or America is in decline or authorities dependency is healthier than self-reliance.
Sure, issues are powerful at this time. Empty meals cabinets are showing in grocery shops for the primary time in a long time. The ever-increasing value for households to place meals on their tables and gasoline of their automobiles is an acute problem confronted by all People, in each nook of our republic. Certainly, these issues are hitting our working and middle-class households more durable than anybody — that is probably the costliest Fourth of July cookout any household in America has skilled of their lifetime. For a lot of, the American Dream now might appear to have misplaced its luster.
In occasions of triumph and trial, People have at all times and can at all times discover methods to come back collectively. Not divided by race or gender or class or area; however as a single, indivisible folks dedicated to the frequent good of this nation we love. We will do that at this time by remembering what makes America distinctive and dedicate ourselves, as soon as extra, to safeguarding the enduring ideas upon which it was based. If we will do that, we are going to quickly discover the American Dream not solely restored however stuffed with higher promise than ever earlier than.
Once I consider the American Dream, I consider my Grandma Grace and Grandpa Earl. They married one another at 6:30 within the morning as a result of Earl didn’t need to be late for work. Grandma Grace couldn’t afford to be late, both — she served as PTA president 4 occasions, led a number of Woman Scout troops, was a precinct committeewoman and made a lot of the garments worn by their 10 youngsters. Every was devoted to serving the group they lived in, and to offering for the household they’d constructed collectively. They upheld this dedication even within the harshest occasions in our nation’s historical past. Such are the varieties of individuals upon which the nation we’ve got inherited was constructed: folks outlined by their ethic of arduous work, self-sufficiency and, above all, an abiding love for these they held expensive.
That is the American Dream. It’s not one thing handed to us, as a present, by a authorities. It’s one thing we alone can create and notice, and we will solely accomplish that in a nation that safeguards the God-given freedoms with which our Creator has blessed us.
Allow us to not neglect the trials we’ve got overcome. From two world wars, to devastating terrorist assaults, to a worldwide pandemic. Via all of it, People prevailed. We gained these wars. We rose from the ashes of 9/11. Through the darkish days of COVID, church buildings stayed open to present hope to the remoted, sick and poor in spirit, households homeschooled their youngsters when colleges turned them away, and plenty of companies fought their approach again from the brink of chapter. The American persons are certainly distinctive, and this turns into most evident once we are examined.
America wants a brand new message. Not one among defeat and decline, however one among very important optimism, grounded within the timeless, sacred ideas of our nation: that we’re all created equal, that we’re “endowed by our Creator with sure unalienable rights, that amongst these are the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” These phrases, penned by Thomas Jefferson earlier than he would function America’s first secretary of state, are alive within the hearts of each American at this time, regardless of the challenges earlier than us. They abided in me as I used to be sworn in as America’s seventieth secretary of state and director of the Central Intelligence Company, and earlier than once I served in Congress and the Military.
On July 4, 1863, the Union Military stood triumphant at Gettysburg, however at an ideal and bloody value. At no time in historical past has our nation been so divided, or our future so unsure. President Abraham Lincoln got here to that nice battlefield and known as upon his countrymen to dedicate themselves in order that “this nation, beneath God, shall have a brand new delivery of freedom, and that authorities of the folks, by the folks, for the folks, shall not perish from the earth.”
This exhortation echoes down generations, and America will reply it at this time, simply as we at all times have. Could God bless you, your households, and the USA of America on our Independence Day.
Mike Pompeo served as secretary of state (2018-2021) and director of the Central Intelligence Company (2017-2018).
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