While celebrating Independence Day this weekend, most of us will make special time for family and friends—and, I hope, spend plenty of time outside. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that our greatest treasures in life are not material things, but people. Our families, our friends, our neighbors and yes, even strangers, are crucial to our happiness as Americans.
As we do our best to socialize safely, let’s also pledge—with all those people—to rejuvenate our shared love for this great republic. I’d recommend re-reading the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, or the Bill of Rights. You might also read some of the stirring speeches of recent American history. One of my favorites, which is very timely, is Aleksandr Solzhenitzyn’s “A World Split Apart,” delivered at Harvard University in 1978.
In it, the oft-persecuted critic of the Soviet Union highlighted a problem that is poignant for us today—“a decline in civil courage.” We wrestle with this today, as marauding revisionists tear down our history and literally tear down our monuments. The solution, according to Solzhenitsyn? Remember that “governments are meant to serve man, and man lives to be free to pursue happiness.”
May this inspiration from a non-American who loved America fuel our passion to rejuvenate American patriotism. If our Founders could pledge their “lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor” to the promise of the American ideal, then we—beneficiaries of their sacrifices—also owe it to posterity to do the same.
God bless you, and God bless America!