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A More Perfect Union

On this July 4th weekend we pause to celebrate the United States of America whose Declaration of Independence was adopted 245 years ago and whose words have inspired people for countless generations.

Its opening words stir our souls. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

And so, on this July 4th we pause to celebrate the gifts and blessings of this country, the freedoms we enjoy, unparalleled in our thousands of years of wanderings and the blessings we have garnered, unrivaled in the many nations we have called home. Here, we can freely profess our faith, here we can proudly declare our beliefs, here we can rest on the guarantees of a constitution that grants no religion primacy over another.

In this great land we can indeed enjoy life, liberty and happiness.

There is much for which to celebrate. There is much for which to give thanks.

On this July 4th we also pause to remember that this same promise has fallen short for
too many. There is still much work to be done. Our founding vision deserves to be expanded. Our founding dream must grow wider.

In the words “all men” we must hear and declare “all men and women.” And we must find renewed strength to say, “all races.” Every color, every faith, every immigrant story must become part of the American promise and dream. Our nation’s history is cluttered with examples in which the liberties enjoyed by many were also denied to many.

Pause to celebrate.

Pause to remember.

Give thanks for these United States of America.

Gather strength that this nation might indeed become a “more perfect union.”

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