This country seems to have 364 days of that where everyone and their cousin points out all that is wrong with America.
But July 4th is different.
That day we celebrate what is good about America.
Let there be earthquake, epidemic, famine, flood --
you will see an American flag waving over relief centers in whatever country in which they occur.
Sadly, people will be shooting at our doctors, nurses, and other helpers there, too, at the same time.
America is great because we are a nation of dreamers, inventors, artists, builders and doers.
We exalt in achievement, rebound from failure and encourage one another every step of the way,
from the little league, to the majors, in every walk of life.
The Declaration of Independence, whose signing we celebrate on Saturday,
states that all people are endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
This pursuit sometimes seems insurmountable
if that road is governed by the rich and powerful or when government represents only narrow interests.
Unlike other countries such as India, China or Thailand,
where one’s station in life is determined by a caste system, government monolith
or an outdated monarchy,
in America you are free to carve out your own destiny.
Wealth carries huge influence,
but unlike most countries, where one’s fate is determined by others,
in the U.S.,
if you use your mind with bravery and creativity, you are free to chart your own course.
Other countries possess freedom ...
America's greatness lies in the fact that it embodies a dream.
The dream is of freedom, of safety, and of opportunity.
The dream is built upon the rule of law,
the generosity of our people and the promise of advancement for those willing to work hard.
Of course America has not achieved that dream.
Have you noticed that nothing turns out like you thought it would?
But the dream persists.
Still, a struggling deli owner can send his daughter to medical school,
or a Jewish immigrant’s son can become one of the world’s most successful fashion designers,
or the mixed-race son of a Kenyan socialist can become president.
You may think America is not the greatest country in the world ...
And perhaps that is so, but it can be.
If we do not give up on it and each other.