Message on the Observance of Independence Day, 1987

June 29, 1987

This Fourth of July, as in years past, Americans celebrate the Declaration of Independence and our Nation's 211th birthday with parades down Main Street, ceremonies at town halls, worship at churches and synagogues, and patriotic moments at picnics and fireworks shows and baseball games. Americans overseas pause in thoughts of home and what our country means to them. All of us remember with wonder and gratitude that we celebrate a profound conception of freedom, one our countrymen have asserted and defended over and over.

That conception of freedom is expressed with eloquence and wisdom in the Declaration of Independence and in the Constitution whose bicentennial we observe this year. The Declaration affirms our belief that government exists to secure our God-given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The Constitution provides for a system of limited government which secures these blessings of liberty, ensuring that We the People remain truly in charge.

On this Independence Day, let us recall our Founders' pledge to make any sacrifice as they fought for liberty and freedom. Let us remember that millions of Americans have struggled to pass on to us the precious gift of Independence -- that it is from them that the light of this great national anniversary is truly drawn, and that it is in their name today that we pledge ourselves anew to keep that light burning proud and strong.

To all my fellow Americans, Happy Fourth of July!

Ronald Reagan