My parents were very careful to bring me up with not only a love for God, but also a love for our country. Whenever we heard the National Anthem being played, no matter where we were or what else might be going on, we were to stand quietly at attention with our hand over our heart. We were taught about great men who founded our country and expected to show respect for those who served in the armed forces.
Sometimes I fear that I am not being as attentive as I should be in passing those values along to my own daughters. I want them to realize what a blessing and a privilege it is to live in America and not to take for granted the freedoms we have that so many fought and died for.
As we approach the July 4th holiday and the celebration of our country’s independence, here are quotes from a few of our founding fathers.
No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand which conducts the Affairs of men more than the People of the United States. Every step, by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency.
George Washington, First Inaugural Address, April 30, 1789
Every child in America should be acquainted with his own country. He should read books that furnish him with ideas that will be useful to him in life and practice. As soon as he opens his lips, he should rehearse the history of his own country.
Noah Webster, On the Education of Youth in America, 1788
A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.
Samuel Adams, letter to James Warren, February 12, 1779
Every man who loves peace, every man who loves his country, every man who loves liberty ought to have it ever before his eyes that he may cherish in his heart a due attachment to the Union of America and be able to set a due value on the means of preserving it.
James Madison, Federalist No. 41, January 1788
I hope that this week, as the girls and I discuss history in our summer learning program, I will be reminded how important it is to instill in their lives the same love for America that my parents gave to me.