Message on the Observance
of Independence Day, 1988
June 23, 1988
Fourth of July is much more than a date on the calendar -- it is celebrated
here in the United States, and recognized around
the world, as a turning point in history. No matter how many Fourths we
Americans have seen, every new one revives in our hearts the pure patriotism of
childhood. With each flag, with each parade and picnic and burst of fireworks,
we can't help but recall the first stirrings of our deep love for America.
year, on our Nation's 212th birthday, we recall another special anniversary,
the Bicentennial of our first Independence Day under our newly ratified
Constitution. In his diary entry for that date, John Quincy Adams recorded how
the news of the latest State ratification was received in Boston: ``(I)mmediately the bells were set to ringing, and the guns to
firing again, without any mercy, and continued all the remainder of the
afternoon.'' For two centuries now, the Constitution whose birth these patriots
so exuberantly hailed has endured, ensuring our liberty and preserving this
passage of time has only brought us even more reason to celebrate. Our Founders
marked the Fourth of July, uncertain that the Union would be formed; our
ancestors at the time of the Civil War marked it as well, uncertain that the Union would survive; and our
parents and grandparents marked it, uncertain that it would withstand the
ravages of global conflict. We can rejoice -- and be grateful to God -- that
peace and prosperity, the hope of every generation, reign
for us on this July 4, 1988.
all my fellow Americans, Happy Fourth of July!