Loving the Spirit of Liberty

Americans have been celebrating Independence Day for 247 years. In our earliest years as a new nation, those who framed our Constitution, wise as they were, could not have imagined nor predicted the challenges and burdens we face today.

Blessed as we’ve been, our collective history is one of immortal contradictions that seem coded in our DNA.

We wave our flags boisterously, but deep down we’re disassociated from a Declaration of Independence that proclaims we are all “created equal and endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights.” Full equality continues to elude us.

With our blended family of forebears, largely immigrants who sought greater freedoms in this land of opportunity, we as their descendants forsake them whenever we look the other way and allow more Americans to lose freedoms, including the inalienable right to pursue happiness.

Liberty invites choices. It leaves us with decisions to make and potential consequences to bear. It causes us to think responsibly and even seek the will of our higher power through prayer. To interfere with that seems ungodly and un-American.

If our liberties are now negotiable, if they can be rescinded at whim by powerful individuals doing the bidding of special interest groups, what exactly are we celebrating this 4th of July?

The American judicial philosopher, Learned Hand, in a speech entitled “The Spirit of Liberty” given in 1944 at “I Am an American Day” ceremony in New York City’s Central Park, said: “Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it.”

If we love liberty, we cannot love it just for ourselves, nor for how it might please just us, but rather for how it can bless all Americans equally, opening doors to our god-given potential, increasing our prosperity, uniting us in solidarity, and making our nation strong.

A liberator rises to the challenge of keeping liberty sacred and protected. By teaching others how it blesses and prospers us, we give them a reason to love and cherish it. My pledge on the Fourth of July is to do all I can to help our nation grow in liberty rather than turn our backs on it. Please join me in keeping the spirit of liberty alive.

Well Street

Thank you for this moving piece. I'll be reading it several times, as there's a lot to absorb and think about.

As the ways in which we can keep the spirit of liberty alive reveal themselves, I'll join you.


Liberty is a special gift. It has long distinguished us and inspired other nations to proclaim it for themselves. It has made us leaders of the free world. As we lose it increment by increment, we darken our reputation around the world. We become has-beens and allow other nations to lead.

People need to be reminded that countries without liberties are volatile, dangerous, and often use inhumane means to retain power.


If we are to believe in the Declaration of Independence, we can't be selfish and narrow-minded and say it's for us but not them. I will join your pledge to keep the spirit of liberty alive.


Thanks. We need an expanding group mind on this.