Ode to America

On the Fourth of July, we celebrate the birth of our nation — on July 4, 1776 — when 13 colonies signed the Declaration of Independence to officially break away from Great Britain.

To commemorate the day, here are some quotes from patriots and famous people about what America means to them:

“May the sun in his course visit no land more free, more happy, more lovely, than this our own country! ’’

Daniel Webster

“How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy!”

Thomas Jefferson

“Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.”

George Washington

“Intellectually I know that America is no better than any other country; emotionally I know she is better than every other country. ’’

Sinclair Lewis

“Where liberty dwells, there is my country.”

Benjamin Franklin

Freedom is the open window through which pours the sunlight of the human spirit and human dignity.”

Herbert Hoover

“Happily for America, happily, we trust, for the whole human race, they pursued a new and more noble course. They accomplished a revolution which has no parallel in the annals of human society.”

James Madison

“We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.”

William Faulkner

“I believe in America because we have great dreams, and because we have the opportunity to make those dreams come true.”

Wendell L Wilkie

“This land is your land, this land is my land, from California, to the New York Island, from the redwood forest, to the Gulf Stream waters, this land was made for you and me....”

Woody Guthrie

“There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.”

William J. Clinton

“For what avail the plough or sail, or land or life, if freedom fail?”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt

“America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

Alexis de Tocqueville

“Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed - else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die. ’’

Dwight D. Eisenhower

“The United States is the only country with a known birthday.”

James G. Blaine

“In the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.”

President Barack Obama

“You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is just patriotism.”

Erma Bombeck