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Independence Day - We All Have Value

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Written by Pat Curran

Posted on 17 December 2017

Last Updated 17 December 2017

Motivational Moment - 

"Independence Day - We All Have Value"

“This has not happened much

in the history of the world.

We are an Army out to

set other men free.


America should be free ground! All of it.  
Not divided by a line of slave states and free,
all the way from here to the Pacific Ocean.
No man has to bow, no man born to royalty.
Here we judge you by what you do,
not by who your father was.
Here you can be something.
Here is the place to build a home.


But it's not the land. There's always more land.
It's the idea that we all have value, you and me.

What we're fighting for, in the end...  
We're fighting for each other.”



--Jeff Daniels playing “Colonel Joshua Chamberlain”
in the movie “Gettysburg”

To watch movie clip, click here



July 1, 1863 began what we now know as “The Battle of Gettysburg.” Up until this point in the American Civil War, the Union Army had lost nearly every major engagement. To say the least, America’s future as a sovereign nation was deeply in question. However, the outcome of this battle and ultimately the war would change for the Union. Between its advantages in the number of soldiers, resources, as well as its lessons learned, they would eventually win the Civil War two years later.


But, what about the rest of the story? How did a country who experienced an estimated 620,000 men lost in the line of duty (still largest number of American deaths in combat) later re-emerge to influence the outcome of two World Wars and become the leading pro-democracy superpower of the 20th century? Simply put, there was a concentrated effort by some after the Civil War to move the nation away from retaliation / reparations and towards reconciliation. It was the only way to create a shared future. Not everyone agreed, though. The road was bumpy. The pace of change was disappointing. Failures to include “Reconstruction” and “Jim Crow Laws” happened. But unlike any other country, we examined our conscience with each failure, learned from it, and continued to progress.


Today, we find ourselves in a different situation. It seems that America has lost its focus on reconciliation. Instead, we are being conditioned to view ourselves through the lens of special interest groups competing against each other for a slice of a shrinking pie. Simultaneously, there is growing threat in the world that seeks peace by eliminating those who are different.   Rather than continuing the struggle for learning how to coexist as we do, it seeks conformity or death. This threat uniquely infiltrates religions, political movements, and even our day-to-day interactions through social media.


To beat this threat, America must put its faith back into reconciliation. It must commit to not just identifying past injustices but working together to heal them. It must show how a diverse people with shared values can create a pathway to peace and prosperity for all. It must have the courage to believe that we can be an exceptional nation as long as we keep trying.


This Independence Day, I ask that you think about the shared values that unite us and remember what so many have fought and died for:


  • E Pluribus Unum - A faith that many different cultures can be bound by one set of common values


  • In God We Trust - Our individual rights come from a creator not a monarchy or an elite, or a group who claims “purity”


  • Justice for All – A sense of duty to protect the innocent and the weak unable to defend themselves regardless of their circumstances


  • Liberty - The continuous debate for how to maximize individual liberty without taking away from the liberties of others


  • Pursuit of Happiness - Celebrating those who pursue their happiness and achieve their American Dream instead of chastising them


  • Freedom - Freedom of speech, freedom of choosing your own religion, freedom from fear and intimidation especially when you disagree


Every generation has a unique challenge to overcome. In most cases, they do not get a chance to choose it. The challenge of our time is to lead “The Next Great Reconciliation” and embrace forgiveness as our core virtue. Forgiveness is the only way to free our sons and daughters of those things that divide us. It’s the only way to teach them that we all have value.


No one can do this for us. Each one of us will have to examine our thoughts, interact with honesty, and seek the outcome of mutual respect. Like our history, it will be messy and imperfect, but with patience and goodwill we will become a more perfect union.


If we do this right, America will be able to show the world how we can all coexist. And, if the threat of terrorism and tyranny continues to grow, America and its Allies will be ready to save the world once again.


Happy Independence Day!  


Keep faith in us!!     

God Bless,


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