Words that make us Americans

This is the Vineyard Gazzette's Editorial for July 4, 2006

gazette1Independence Day 2006

Words that make us Americans:

"We shall be as a city on a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us."
- John Winthrop, 1630

"Taxation without representation is tyranny."
- James Otis, 1767

"Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!"
- Patrick Henry, 1775

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
- Thomas Jefferson, 1776

"A government of laws, and not men."
- John Adams, 1779

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
- Framers of the Constitution, 1787

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."
- James Madison, 1787

"The basis of our political system is the right of the people to make and alter their constitutions of government."
- George Washington, 1796

"Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable."
- Daniel Webster, 1830

" . . . that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain - that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom - and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
- Abraham Lincoln, 1863

"No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
- Congress, 1868

"Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy."
- Louis Brandeis, 1928

"This land is your land, this land is my land; From the Redwood Forest to the New York Island; The Canadian mountain to the Gulf Stream waters; This land is made for you and me."
- Woody Guthrie, 1940

"As citizens of this democracy, you are the rulers and the ruled, the lawgivers and the law-abiding, the beginning and the end."
- Adlai Stevenson, 1952

"And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."
- John F. Kennedy, 1961

"When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, 'Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!'"
- Martin Luther King, 1963

Read the original in The Gazette here, and comment below.

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