Today I’m not trying to rip on anyone only to understand what forms the basis of patriotism in the minds and hearts of two transformative American Presidents. What are the life experiences that shape a man’s world view and the view he holds of his nation. What follows are two speeches on that theme. They tell very different stories and paint pictures both obvious and not so obvious. Without analysis from me I reprint both speeches.
The following speech was delivered on July 4, 1981.
What July Fourth Means to Me
For one who was born and grew up in the small towns of the Midwest, there is a special kind of nostalgia about the Fourth of July.
I remember it as a day almost as long-anticipated as Christmas. This was helped along by the appearance in store windows of all kinds of fireworks and colorful posters advertising them with vivid pictures.
No later than the third of July – sometimes earlier – Dad would bring home what he felt he could afford to see go up in smoke and flame. We’d count and recount the number of firecrackers, display pieces and other things and go to bed determined to be up with the sun so as to offer the first, thunderous notice of the Fourth of July.
I’m afraid we didn’t give too much thought to the meaning of the day. And, yes, Continue reading