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Tuesday, Feb. 27
The Indiana Daily Student

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Happy birthday, America

Happy birthday, America

Friday marks the 238th birthday of the nation that we know as the United States of America.

Yes, the Declaration of Independence was ?primarily written and signed by a bunch of stuffy, old white men sitting in a cramped conference room in ?Philadelphia.

Yes, we’ve come a long way since then, and we still have a lot of work to do.

Our laws and politics are far from perfect, and they certainly weren’t flawless 238 years ago either.

But the impact of this nation’s birth has certainly been felt across the world. The U.S. has been a driving force behind the spread of democratic ideals on a ?global scale.

It was our courage that helped us fight, tooth and nail, for freedom ?everywhere.

It was our ingenuity that propelled us into the ?manufacturing powerhouse we were and technological haven we are today.

It was our commitment to inclusion that allowed millions to come to our shores, seeking refuge.

Our nation allows ?anyone to become ?successful on their own ?determination, rather than out of heritage.

Independence Day is a time where we need to take a long, hard look at ourselves. We should remind ourselves of the core values that bind us together as Americans.

In an age where partisan bickering and cheap shots between the aisles are common, it seems rare to find issues that truly unite us all. But there are.

They are just buried in the document signed 238 years ago.

We have heard it quoted ad infinitum. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed ... with certain inalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the g?overned.” This is the ?American creed.

Of course we have ?differing interpretations of what all that means.

But the spirit of those ideals lives on as a reminder of what this nation stands for.

A nation of rights, of ?freedoms and of liberty. A nation that is working ?together for the betterment of society and the world.

A nation that ?transcended cultural divides and now is proud to boast members from all corners of the world.

This day is the time to celebrate what we have ?become. We can say we are American, celebrating a common set of principles that have led us to where we are today.

To quote then-State Senator Obama at the 2004 Democratic National ?Convention, “There’s not a liberal America and a ?conservative America. There’s the United States of America. There’s not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America. There’s the United States of America.”

This is our day to ?remember we are united in the vision of America that began in that sweaty ?Philadelphia room July 4, 1776, and continues burning brightly to this day.

Happy Independence Day.

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