It’s Worth Pausing to Watch the Fireworks
As we gather with family and friends to celebrate the Fourth of July it is important to remember how recent this American experiment is on the historic landscape. I read where actor Antonio Banderas said, “I mean, the Constitution of this country was written 200 years ago. The house I was living in in Madrid is 350 years old! America is still a project, and you guys are working on it and bringing new things to it every day. That is beautiful to watch.”
In many ways he is right and though we often can lose sleep worrying about where the direction we are going will take us, there is so much right in the country that deserves a high five.
Recently, I was at a milestone celebration for Embraer, the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer that has a significant manufacturing, research and development, and sales offices at Melbourne International Airport. Two executives from the company who moved to the United States from Brazil and I struck up a conversation about the two countries and their experience living in the U.S. I can’t describe my emotions as they spoke glowingly about being invited to a Fourth of July picnic, then gathering at the riverfront to watch the fireworks display and listen to patriotic music.
For them, that kind of national celebration – pulling together all the diverse elements of a culture to commemorate our common identity – was new and unique. They said, though Brazilians love their country and have a great sense of national pride, the only thing that comes close to our Fourth of July is when Brazil is in the final of the World Cup!
As I thought about what we will celebrate this month and what America means, I pulled together some of my favorite quotes about our country.
“The essence of America — that which really unites us — is not ethnicity, or nationality or religion — it is an idea — and what an idea it is: That you can come from humble circumstances and do great things.” —Condoleezza Rice
“The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults.” —Alexis de Tocqueville
“We are a nation of immigrants. We are the children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the ones who wanted a better life, the driven ones, the ones who woke up at night hearing that voice telling them that life in that place called America could be better.”
“America is built around this premise that you can do it, and there are an awful lot of people who are unlikely to have done it who did.” —Michael Bloomberg
“Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility. For the person who is unwilling to grow up, the person who does not want to carry his own weight, this is a frightening prospect.” —Eleanor Roosevelt
“America was established not to create wealth but to realize a vision, to realize an ideal—to discover and maintain liberty among men.” —Woodrow Wilson
“America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.” —Harry S. Truman
“There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.” — Bill Clinton
“Laughter is America’s most important export.” —Walt Disney
About the Author
Jeff Piersall is co-founder and CEO of SCB Marketing, which publishes i4 Business and SpaceCoast Business magazines. Contact him at (321) 537-4941 or firstname.lastname@example.org