Musing as I have been on what it means to be American, what to find pride in, and how the anniversary of U.S. independence reflects upon my life and the current state of my country, I often find bittersweet solace thinking about the words from leaders of the past. Lawyers, Guns, and Money posted a good one today:
William McKinley, calling for a day of thanksgiving and prayer, 6 July 1898:
With the nation’s thanks let there be mingled the nation’s prayers that our gallant sons may be shielded from harm alike on the battlefield and in the clash of fleets, and be spared the scourge of suffering and disease while they are striving to uphold their country’s honor; and withal let the nation’s heart be stilled with holy awe at the thought of the noble men who have perished as heroes die, and be filled with compassionate sympathy for all those who suffer bereavement or endure sickness, wounds, and bonds by reason of the awful struggle. And above all, let us pray with earnest fervor that He, the Dispenser of All good, may speedily remove from us the untold afflictions of war and bring to our dear land the blessings of restored peace and to all the domain now ravaged by the cruel strife the priceless boon of security and tranquillity.