Forefathers Strived To Make Unique Nation

Gilbert Stuart detail: George Washington, c. 1803/1805, Gift of Jean McGinley Draper 1954.9.2
National Gallery of Art
We're lucky to be here - we're Americans. So much freedom, so much opportunity.

Most of us have roots somewhere else. Our grandparents and great-grandparents came here at great risk, or they were forced here against their will. Regardless, they worked hard to insure our lives would be better than theirs.

Our thanks to them this Fourth of July. And our thanks to the people who at even greater risk created the foundation for the United States.

Our founders, who dared to break away from the British, who gathered in Philadelphia to declare their independence, had a sophisticated understanding of history and philosophy.

What they dreamt of was audacious. There was no place in the world that would be like the United States of America. And they were willing to risk their lives for it.

We should be humbled today. And we should ask ourselves this - if the founders popped up at our barbeque this afternoon, would they be impressed with what we've done with the place?

I wonder.