I wrote this Presidential, Inaugural-like address several seasons ago. It was a different time and place for me, and so, I reshare it because I think it speaks to the holiday and to our nation and my pride in it. Enjoy.
[History of our Country’s Patriotism]
The time was mid-summer, 1776. A powerful nation stood as an insurmountable barrier to the prosperity and operation of a 170-year old colony of thirteen, then divided. The previous decade had seen tumultuous and dangerous circumstances rule the day. No one felt free; and the far away King did not listen. Crisis was assured.
The wisest course of action would have been to accept the situation as is: to not infuriate and throw off the mighty government that held sway; to give up in the darkest hours of a fledgling Nation under haphazard leadership; to deny the Dream of Peace, Prosperity and Freedom. But our Forefathers determined that it was a time to break those bonds and strike a new accord. To declare it could do better and should be free to design its future.
In our  years as a Nation hence, we the people have forged an everlasting union to the ideals set forth in the Declaration of Independence. That we shall evince an equitable design for all Man to see; to make Freedom our truest value; that a single Proclamation can change the Course of human events; and that all Men shall be Equal under God Almighty.
In those same 238 seasons, we have past through trying times and evolved through the world events and the ingenuity of Man, of America. That even in conflict, we reached for the same founding ideals, the same credos, the same hope to guide us to a better day and build upon the unshakeable foundation we shall never succumb, and never allow to be compromised by our foes.
We are the generation of settlers born out of Plymouth Rock. We are the Puritans and Lutherans. We are the merchants, the farmers, the toilers in the trades. We are the writers and founders of American Independence. We are the Natives of this land. We are the downtrodden and the dreamers. The Immigrants of Europe, Asia and Africa. We are the Gilded Age, the voices of tired laborers, wounded soldiers, Western prairie settlers and the caregivers in times of war, and of peace. We are survivors of Two World Wars. The people of the hardest times, The Great Depression. The Boomers who came after them. We also bore witness to a hidden war; we bare witness to a nation still divided by color, creed and disproportionate prosperity since the toils of Vietnam. And we continue to forge ahead, through crises, and the completion of our inspired mission.
We have also found fellowship in our mutual belief in humanity; The cause of designing a new Nation; The dreams of our fathers and mothers. And the sacrifices of our sons and daughters made time and time again. This hearty experiment in Democracy, which has spread to the far reaches of the Earth, has been buttressed on the unfettered and unquenchable fire of liberty burning in the bellies of the American people. We are all responsible for its existence.
As we take stock of our most recent events, the designs and desires of various masters, it is best to separate ourselves from that, and those, that have done us greatest harm by understanding our needs for Justice must not be at the price of our Principles. As President Kennedy intoned: “When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the areas of man’s concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses. For art establishes the basic human truth which must serve as the touchstone of our judgment.” [Amherst College, Oct. 26, 1963.]
Our nation’s power comes from an abiding strength in it, and the wise frugality of its use; but also the knowledge that the repository of our power is vast, and can be unleashed with rapidity. To garner Justice we will do whatever it takes without hesitation. In the use of such power we will employ that which will protect us, and keep us Free as our Forefathers rightfully designed. But the Poetry of America is to decree Our Rights are sacrosanct; untouchable by foreign and alien ideologies. We shall prevail over all enemies with our adamant poetry and our indomitable spirit. Our Security will be eyed clearly; under a will, resolute; and our Nation shall carry forth a strong message to all that would seek to do us harm. But our everlasting American spirit is promote Justice in our relationships; cultivate peace and harmony; and to seek out prosperous alliances iron bound in fairness.
[The Future Bright Requires Sacrifice and Innovation]
Within the boundaries of this great Nation, lie incalculable resources and an innovative spirit yet untapped. America’s necessity always breeds American innovation. It runs in the blood of all of us. That is why in our present environmental and energy confinements there are opportunities to grow beyond the dogmas of the past, which lack the ability to confront the stormy present. That is why we will beat back our future’s most perilous foe, that of economic instability from scant energy sources, before time becomes our heartless enemy. Hindsight will see this day, this moment, as the point where America decided on the best course to free ourselves from a five-score dependence on fossil fuels. But it is that greatest resource of all, our ingenuity in the face of greatest peril, which will win the day.
We will also forge a new path to make it possible for all Americans to survive in the worst of unforeseen circumstances: that of ill health and debilitating hospital stays. Our government has often succeeded in giving a hand to those less fortunate in the worst of times. To create jobs; to revitalize the markets; to make a New Deal for Americans. It is time to do the same for the sick and unable to pay their medical bills. As we are all too aware, our personal health is at the foundation of our economic vitality. Nearly 20% of our economy is tied to deterioration of health. But with this enormous price, one-fifth of America cannot continue to achieve greater prosperity and dreams. It is vital that we address this shortcoming. Achieve a balanced solution that gives the best care at the lowest possible cost but also requires sacrifice and new ideas to work. Else, the very thing we need first in life, our health and security, becomes a stalking enemy that slowly takes that which God to gave us.
More measures will be taken to secure our Nation’s future. We will not lock out those who desire access to the promise and prosperity of America, but we will not allow foreign passage to make a mockery of our laws. We will forcefully hold our sovereignty by the standards laid in the Constitution of the United States of America. We will hold clear and open discussions about the legitimate right to seek legal asylum in this great nation and remedy those that are here all ready under inauspicious terms. We must be both steadfast and reasonable in the same turn.
We will reinvest in our educational systems; build better, and up-to-date transit systems; and make fair the tax laws and legal precedents of America, for all Americans. Yes we can reach for the stars and fill our breadbaskets.
We can reconstitute an age of volunteerism, building infrastructure and homes and levies so they will not break. We shall make a promise to assist those in need and ask only they put their best foot forward daily. Sacrifice is at hand – we must all do a little more.
We can and shall help our Veterans who toiled bravely thousands of miles from their homes so that our streets and towns can remain prosperous and free. They of the greatest sacrifices, that made this land free, should never fall prey to lack of caring and support.
[The greatness of America harnessed again]
We can do this all with the humble sacrifice and the forceful temerity that bore our Forefathers so well in their most trying times. It is the nature and depth of their sacrifice that brought us to this auspicious moment as the greatest Nation on the face of this Earth. A Nation that shall not perish with the undoubted sacrifices made by those that properly ask what they can do for this country in continuing to make it a Nation for the People, by the People, and of the People.
God Bless America!
Ideas from Kennedy, FDR, Lincoln and Washington are included in the passages. Apologies for my butchering of them…