Since today is the Fourth of July, I plan to take some time to reflect on the great moments of our nation's history. I can't help but remember that 14 years ago, with humankind inches from annihilation, our president Thomas J. Whitmore delivered one of the most inspirational speeches in the history of our great nation:
"Good morning. Good morning. In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world, and you will be launching the largest aerial battle in the history of mankind. Mankind, (and we could replace this with humankind) that word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can't be consumed by our petty differences any more. We will be united in our common interest. Perhaps it's fate that today is the 4th of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom. Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution, but from annihilation. We're fighting for our right to live, to exist and should we win the day, the 4th of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day when the world declared in one voice, 'We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We're going to live on, we're going to survive. Today we celebrate our independence day!"
President Thomas J. Whitmore
July 4, 1996