"Inspiring" – in one word, that is how I could describe my trip to New York for my nephew’s graduation from the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point. Standing on our feet with hands on heart as the National Athem played; current and veteran members of each branch of the Armed Forces standing for recognition as their branch’s song filled the stadium; my dad watching his grandson graduate from the same academy from which he graduated 45 years prior; a retired U.S. Marine administering the oath of enlistment to his son the day before Father’s Day; and the sight of Lady Liberty standing tall in the night. All inspiring.
The United States of America is the greatest country to have ever stood on this earth throughout all of history! The story of America is an inspiring story. The lives of the Founders are wrought with inspiration. But what inspired the Founders? What inspired them to risk all, including their lives, to establish this great nation and its freedoms? That point is argued and debated by many, but what were their own words?
"When we view the blessings with which our country has been favored, those which we now enjoy, and the means which we possess of handing them down unimpaired to our latest posterity, our attention is irresistibly drawn to the source from whence they flow. Let us then, unite in offering our most grateful acknowledgments for these blessings to the Divine Author of All Good." James Monroe, 5th United States President
"While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian." George Washington
"Patriotism is as much a virtue as justice and is as necessary for the support of societies as natural affection is for the support of families. [Patriotism] is both a moral and religious duty…What did not Moses forsake and suffer for his countrymen! What shining examples of Patriotism do we behold in Joshua, Samuel, Maccabeus, and all the illustrious princes, captains, and prophets amongst the Jews! St. Paul himself almost wishes himself accursed for his countrymen and kinsmen after the flesh. Even our Savior Himself gives a sanction to this virtue. He confined His miracles and gospel at first to His own country." On Patriotism, October 20, 1773. Benjamin Rush.
“Heaven has crowned all its other blessings, by giving [America] a fairer opportunity for political happiness, than any other Nation has ever been favored with.” George Washington, Circular Address to the States, June 8th, 1783