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Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. July 4, 2008

Posted by ourfriendben in Ben Franklin, wit and wisdom.
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It’s me, Richard Saunders of Poor Richard’s Almanac fame, back today to celebrate the Fourth of July with some patriotic quotes. Let’s hope they inspire us to appreciate our freedom and count our blessings. We are so very, very lucky, so very privileged, to live in a country unravaged by war, a country of plenty. Rather than taking it all for granted and complaining about our small deprivations and minor inconveniences as though they were matters of life and death, let’s allow ourselves—at least for today—to feel gratitude and humility for our abundant gifts. Hopefully these quotes will help kick-start those feelings. Of course, I’ll begin and end with quotes from my hero and mentor, Ben Franklin:

“The U.S. Constitution doesn’t guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself.”—Benjamin Franklin

“There is no ‘Republican’, no ‘Democrat’, on the Fourth of July—all are Americans.”—James Gillespie Blaine

“There was never a colony save this that went forth, not to seek gold, but God.”—James Russell Lowell

“There are those, I know, who will say that the liberation of humanity, the freedom of man and mind, is nothing but a dream. They are right. It is the American dream.”—Archibald MacLeish

“One country, one constitution, one destiny.”—Daniel Webster

“We can’t all be Washingtons, but we can all be patriots.”—Charles F. Browne   

“Four score and seven years ago our forefathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal… We here highly resolve that… this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”—Abraham Lincoln

“America—the place where miracles not only happen, but where they happen all the time.”—Thomas Wolfe

“Where liberty dwells, there is my country.”—Benjamin Franklin

“Man’s capacity for evil makes democracy necessary and man’s capacity for good makes democracy possible.”—Reinhold Niebuhr

“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.”—Elmer Davis

“If our country is worth dying for in time of war then let us resolve that it is truly worth living for in time of peace.”—Hamilton Fish

“Those who won our independence believed liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty.”—Louis D. Brandeis

“How often we fail to realize our good fortune in living in a country where happiness is more than a lack of tragedy.”—Paul Sweeney

“One flag, one land, one heart, one hand, One Nation, evermore!”—Oliver Wendell Holmes

“Our citizenship in the United States is our national character.”—Thomas Paine

“In the beginning, all the world was America.”—John Locke

“We are not so much a nation as a world.”—Herman Melville

“The American, by nature, is optimistic. He is experimental, an inventor and a builder who builds best when called upon to build greatly.”—John F. Kennedy

“When an American says that he loves his country, he means… that he loves an inner air, an inner light in which freedom lives and in which a man can draw the breath of self-respect.”—Adlai Stevenson

“America is a passionate idea or it is nothing.”—Max Lerner

“What constitutes an American? Not color nor race nor religion… An American is one who loves justice and believes in the dignity of man.”—Harold Ickes

“Sometimes people call me an idealist. Well, that is the way I know I am an American.”—Woodrow Wilson

“We go forth all to seek America. And in the seeking we create her. In the quality of our search shall be the nature of the America that we created.”—Waldo Frank

“Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!”—Benjamin Franklin

“What is the essence of America? Finding and maintaining that perfect, delicate balance between freedom ‘to’ and freedom ‘from’.”—Marilyn vos Savant

“Ours is the only country deliberately founded on a good idea.”—John Gunther

“Let Freedom ring!”—Samuel F. Smith, America

“This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.”—Theodore Roosevelt

“He loves his country best who strives to make it best.”—Robert G. Ingersoll

“There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.”—William J. Clinton

“May I never wake up from the American dream.”—Carrie Latet

“They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”—Benjamin Franklin



1. hayefield - July 4, 2008

Thanks for the inspiring thoughts for the day, Richard. I’m surprised you had time to post today. Since Ben and Betsy Ross got married last night, I’d have expected the reception to go into the wee hours of the morning!

Ack, now there’s a horrifying thought (what would Silence say?!!!). I hope it was just a nightmare.

2. hayefield - July 4, 2008

Ah, I forget you don’t watch television. I’d have thought they’d have invited you, anyway! Here’s the scoop:


Sorry Silence.

Ha!!! Thanks, Nan.

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