Document Type



This is Governor John Baldacci.

This weekend our country celebrates Independence Day.

All across Maine, where the first rays of sun shine on our great nation, family and friends will join together for patriotic gatherings.

This is a time to take pride in our heritage - how far we have come, and to share our hopes for the future.

Recalling our history – both the good times and bad – fortifies our resolve as a nation.

America is unique for many reasons, most importantly for our continued adherence to the values from which our nation was born.

In Philadelphia, in 1776, then-colonists put on paper what was in the hearts of those who sought to be free; who defined freedom and liberty and then fought to achieve these goals. They succeeded and lit the path for future generations to follow.

But the job was not done with the signing of the Treaty of Paris, marking the end of the War for Independence. It continues to this day.

Americans in 1776 and 2008 know that our liberty requires responsibility and sacrifice.

Americans have fought for freedom here and across the globe.

Our success has not come easy. The cost to protect liberty, justice and equality for all is great.

Lives have been lost on the battlefield; our people have struggled through war and economic crises. During the times of greatest hardship, American people come together as one because we have a common cause and a dream for our children and their future.

Our country has faced enormous challenges, and every time we have come out stronger.

We continue this struggle today. It’s not just a fight on the battlefield, but in the policies we champion, and in the relationships we foster in our communities.

Equality and liberty are sometimes at odds. We have to use the tools our Forefathers gave us. Our actions will be guided with the wisdom gained from their example, combined with those essential values that define us and the courage that demands we persevere. This is our national character.

We need to marshal our strength to fight injustice and inequality where it exists.

For this is our shared destiny, first expressed in the Declaration of Independence.

As a testament to all of those who have and continue to represent - of the many things that we as Americans can and should take most pride in – the United States remains a beacon to all other nations that seek to be free. America continues to be the model for other peoples struggling for opportunity.

The United States defines true liberty, where every baby born in America can grow up to be President.

There is no country on this earth before or now that has offered its citizens such a breadth of opportunity, and commanded such a leadership role in the world.

So today, we remember those who have dedicated themselves to preservation of our most cherished values, and we strive to continue the legacy they have bestowed upon us.

We honor our American heroes’ memories best by doing our part each and every day to work within our families and communities to reaffirm these values.

Working together, there is nothing we cannot overcome. I’ve seen it take hold in our darkest days, during the Ice Storm of 1998, during the tragedies of 9/11 and during the most recent floods in Aroostook County that have devastated homes and businesses.

For this weekend, this Independence Day, we look to a bright future.

We also welcome visitors who have come to Maine to enjoy our renowned natural resources, especially our friendly, down-to-earth residents and cozy communities.

We cherish this time with family and friends and we join with others in our communities for the festivals, celebrating our shared history, heritage and dreams.

America will continue to be the light that guides the world a better and more peaceful day in the future.

Thank you and happy Fourth of July.

Exact Creation Date






Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "Save As"



Rights Statement

Rights Statement

No Copyright - United States. URI: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/NoC-US/1.0/
The organization that has made the Item available believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries. Please refer to the organization that has made the Item available for more information.