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American Spirit

I am an American. I have come from the four corners of the earth... in flight from the old and the ruined and the oppressive. I have come to the Golden Door... in search of Freedom..

I am an American. I am many different things... but in these differences there is a sameness of belief.

For I believe in myself... in the destiny of this land.

I believe... that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

I am an American. I have crossed the prairies and the mountains in covered wagons... living mostly on hope... charting the unknown... sleeping under the stars. I have followed the sun in search of gold... and found a greater prize in new lands... in the brave hearts of my fellows.

I have lived in a house divided by war... and in honoring my fallen brothers I have spoken from my heart... that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, for the, people, shall not perish from the earth.

I am an American. I speak in diverse accents. My skin has many hues. I worship in churches, cathedrals, synagogues, temples, rude tents and wild forests.

I have given my life so many times for my country... at Valley Forge ... Appomattox... Velleau Wood... Iwo Jima... Da Nang. But there is in me a thing that knows no death and my spirit is living still in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

I am an American.  I have sold men into slavery and I have been a slave. I have lived in the darkness of the ghetto where the sun never shines and I have lived in greater luxury than any man before me.

I am an American. There are moments in my past I view with great pride... and there are scenes that cry out in my memory. But only in realizing the good and the bad that has gone before can I become the American I must be in the days ahead.

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