Today we will be celebrating the 4th of July with our family by attending the Grand Parade in Provo, UT. It is my favorite parade and I look forward to it each year. There is something about it that makes me cry every single year. The sense of community I feel and watching veterans who have served our country get me every single time. There are so many who sacrifice now and have sacrificed so much in the past to give us the freedom we enjoy and I love to celebrate that and express my support and gratitude for them.
Today I want to share a few patriotic quotes that have long been a favorite of mine and I read each year to remember the great duty we each have to preserve our nations foundational principles.
“Patriotism is more than flag-waving and fireworks. It is how we respond to public issues. If we ask only, ‘What’s in this proposal for me?—What do I get out of it?’—we are not patriotic and we are not good citizens. But if we ask, ‘Is this right?—is it good for the … people?—would it preserve and strengthen our freedom?’—then we deserve to stand in the company of [great patriots]. Patriotism is trying always to give more to the Nation than we receive. It is selfless service”
-President Ezra Taft Benson, The Red Carpet [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1962], p. 96
“That’s the way it was, from Boston to Lexington to Concord, as the war for independence and liberty began. Most of all, it was for people, men and women of courage and vision and faith, strengthened by God as a part of his plan, who struggled, froze, starved, and when necessary, died, that these free states in union might be born, in Thomas Jefferson’s incisive words, “To assume, among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them.” (“Declaration of Independence.”)
It was worth a lot to the new Americans of that hour to beget this nation—worth all they had, all they were, and all that they had dreamed. What is it worth today, to you and to me?”
– Elder Paul H. Dunn, “Oh, Beautiful for Patriot Dream”, New Era, May 1976