Washington, Lincoln, Joe Louis, Grandma Moses, Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra these names could only happen in America. From colonial statesman to sports heroes and entertainers, these are the colors of freedom. The personalities of our citizens are as vibrant as those colors which will illuminate the sky tonight.
Brad Wilson, one of our Ministers at Point Of Mercy, mentioned the relevance of fireworks in our celebrations yesterday. He taught us that John Adams spoke of their use. This small, overweight New Englander, succeeded General Washington to the Presidency.
Adams didn’t look like a President, but until Washington, what did one look like? In the days of Kings, and aristocratic leaders, Washington refused a crown. Instead he chose to serve his country, and then step back for others to follow.
Some were great leaders, like Lincoln. A man who rose from nothing, born in a shack, to forever alter the White House, and the nation. His story was one of fighting for hope, preserving the country, and writing a new chapter.
Lady Liberty’s promise on the tablet she holds welcomed countless new faces. One, was a family named Hope from England. The boy would grow to entertain her warriors for most of his life.
Another in the French quarter picked up a trumpet, and traveled the world as America’s Ambassador of Jazz. While Louis Armstrong was entertaining, a skinny kid from Hoboken would become chairman of the board.
Finally men like Joe Louis, Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, and Larry Bird went from players to sports legends. All of these, as well as women like Amelia Earhart, Grandma Moses, and Ella Fitzgerald are uniquely American stories.
These people pursued happiness, achieved greatness, and impacted their world. They believed in the reality of American opportunity. We were given a legacy, not of easy achievement, but obtainable prosperity.
They brought us to here, is it perfect? No, but it never was. Washington had no guarantee that his story wouldn’t end with a hangman’s noose. The founding of our country wasn’t with serene portraits in a museum, but with the loud blasts of musket fire.
All of our famous faces owe their success to a country who’s very existence was a springboard to a better future. Tonight, when you hear the loud booms, and watch the vibrant colors. Think of them, not as gunpowder and sparkles, but as the voices and faces of our nation.
Isn’t an American sky beautiful on her birthday? Her favorite sons and daughters remind us, that we live in the land of hard work and ingenuity, we live in the United States Of America!