“The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.”
― Abraham Lincoln
Disturbed by the events in recent years, I have gone searching for an assemblage of inspirational speeches from America’s leaders and our heroes.
The vainglorious statements and conduct of the 45th President of the United States has left this lawyer concerned. Relative to past Presidents or other national leaders I find myself longing for someone I can get behind and follow.
I began asking myself and my colleagues just why we love America? I have plenty of good answers. Some are comments about freedom of speech, others about a unique American trait of being able to find humor in ourselves even at the most serious occasion.
By far the most profound comments tapped into the emotional quality of being American. Think at all about we are and we find an industry, a true grit that allows each individual to rise above any circumstance, unburdened by the yoke of an authoritarian ruling class. The short word for this is “Liberty”. It is the same principal we fought to preserve along with our British, Canadian and French allies in World War Two, and strove to maintain throughout the Cold War.
Then, without precedence, we drew up our former enemies, Germany and Japan to a prosperity and security unknown in human history.
We live in the afterglow of that success, and yet often do not have the perspective to consider our wealth that effort yielded. Instead we tire of the maintenance of liberty at home and abroad, and have begun to look for short cuts.
I turned to those events and people who have made us who we are. I found what they had written and said. And I offer these as the core values of who we are as a people, regardless of the passions of the stormy present.
I end the podcast by recalling our cohesiveness following the events of Sept.11 2001, and messages from our astronauts from space that filled us with a warmth and pride in being Americans.
And God said the the waters of the earth be gathered together in one place and let the dry land appear, and it was so. And God called the dry land earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called seas. And God saw that it was good.
Frank Borman, Commander, Apollo 8, reading from the book of Genesis, Christmas Eve, 1968