Originally written on 2015 July 4

We are gathered here in the presence of God and this congregation to celebrate the life of a once great nation …

STOP… What? What’s all this gloom and doom?

Is this day a funeral or a birthday celebration?

THIS IS JULY 4TH, for god’s sakes.

No, we are not the people who wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. We are not the people who suffered through Valley Forge. We are not the people who accepted the surrender of the British at Yorktown, or of the Japanese on the USS Missouri. We are the generation who’s been frittering it all away, going out of our way to dismiss the invaluable gifts that our ancestors had left for us.

Well, Mr. Franklin, what have we got? A republic, if you can keep it.

But today is not the day to moan over what we’ve lost.
Today is the day to remember where we came from, and what we can still be, if only…

[239] years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.  …

we here highly resolve that … this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.