(Senate - June 27, 2013)

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[Page S5489]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                     COMMEMORATING THE 4TH OF JULY

  Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, one week from today--July 4th--we will 
celebrate our Nation's 237th birthday. In 1776, our forefathers issued 
the Declaration of Independence announcing that the 13 Colonies were 
free from British rule, initiating the most successful experiment in 
human history. Our forefathers had the revolutionary idea that ``all 
men are created equal'' and ``are endowed by their Creator with certain 
unalienable Rights''. On July 4th, we gather together, at parades on 
Main Streets across America and at barbeques with family members and 
friends, to reflect on just how much we have to be thankful for as 
  No other country in the world has such a rich past, diverse 
population, and bright future. Regardless of our fellow citizens' race, 
religion or background, we should remember that as Americans we are all 
eternally bound as countrymen. The novel experiment in democracy our 
forefathers began more than two centuries ago continues. It continues 
because we actively strive--in the words of our other foundational 
document, the Constitution--to ``form a more perfect Union, establish 
Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, 
promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to 
ourselves and our Posterity''. For 237 years, we have been working to 
defend and advance the foundations of freedom and equality that this 
country was built upon, and to promote them abroad.
  Our history is not pristine; slavery and Jim Crow stain it. Our 
history has been about expanding the franchise and making it possible 
for more and more people to participate fully in American society, to 
enjoy the blessings of peace and prosperity and to share in our mutual 
civic responsibilities. We have endured difficult periods, but every 
time we quarrel amongst ourselves or are attacked from the outside we 
regroup stronger and more resolute. History has taught us and the 
future will show that we are at our best when we work together. On a 
battlefield, factory line, classroom or Congress, nothing can stop 
Americans when we are determined to move the country forward.
  This 4th of July, let us redouble our resolve to continue our great 
democratic experiment. Not just for ourselves and our posterity, but 
for all humankind. As the poet Archibald MacLeish wrote:

       There are those 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.