Tony Blair celebrates American independence

Americans aren't the only ones with something to say about the meaning of our war for Independence.

Proving there are no hard feelings, here's a retired leader from country we gained our Independence from. None other than Tony Blair.

It may be strange for a former British Prime Minister to offer thoughts on America when the country will be celebrating its independence from Britain.

But the circumstances of independence are part of what makes America the great and proud nation it is today. And what gives nobility to the American character.

That nobility isn't about being nicer, better or more successful than anyone else. It is a feeling about the country. It is a devotion to the American ideal that at a certain point transcends class, race, religion or upbringing.

That ideal is about values, freedom, the rule of law, democracy. It is also about the way you achieve: on merit, by your own efforts and hard work.

But it is most of all that in striving for and protecting that ideal, you as an individual take second place to the interests of the nation as a whole. This is what makes the country determined to overcome its challenges.

It is what makes its soldiers give their lives in sacrifice.

It is what brings every variety of American, from the lowest to the highest, to their feet when "The Star-Spangled Banner" is played.

Of course the ideal is not always met - that is obvious. But it is always striven for.

The next years will test the American character. The world is changing. New powers are emerging.

But America should have confidence. This changing world does not diminish the need for that American ideal. It only reaffirms it.

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