Quote of the Day–Independence Day

“From the bottom of my heart, I thank Mr. Wedderburn for everything he has said against me. My gratitude is sincere. You’ve answered a question which has troubled me since boyhood. But you have finally put my mind at ease. The question is fundamental and when my fellow colonists arrive at the same answer as I, a great empire may fall. Mr. Wedderburn says I’m a traitor, but this is not true. The question he has answered for me is thus: ‘Am I a British subject? Or am I the citizen of a new nation? A country distinct and different from England?’ And today I declare my answer: ‘I am not British. I am an American!’ And man can only betray his own country. My country is no longer England. My country is America.” Benjamin Franklin to the British Parliament

“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!” Patrick Henry to the Second Virginia Convention

“We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right out to be, Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all the other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.” Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence

“I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” Nathan Hale

These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Thomas Paine, The American Crisis

“I have not yet begun to fight!” Captain John Paul Jones

“Out of this rabble has risen a people who defy kings.” A soldier of King George III at the surrender at Yorktown

“I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty; it ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.” John Adams on Independence Day celebrations

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