On the eve of the 240th anniversary of our nation's independence, it is fitting to reflect on just how far we've come from our days as an oppressed collection of colonies on the opposite side of the known world. As a nation, we have continuously moved ever-closer to our founding fathers' dream of a world in which everyone recognizes that "all men are created equal" and have inalienable rights to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Although much has changed, this vision of America which the founders established with the Declaration of Independence remains the same. We have struggled (and continue to do so) against both internal and external tyranny to realize their hopes and are a better nation today because of it. Perfect? Absolutely not. But despite our country's many flaws, I still believe in the vision of America -- Reagan's "shining city upon a hill" -- and believe that our nation's brightest days lie before us, if we are willing to reach out to one another and move past our present differences and continue working together for a better tomorrow. After all, as Eleanor Roosevelt said, "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." Happy birthday America.
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