What better way to celebrate the holiday than to link to one of my favorite bloggers, Shay of BookerRising?
Thank you to Shay and President Bush for a message that most could applaud. Enjoy - and be careful not to overindulge in too much turkey, gravy and mashed potatoes!
"The story of Berkeley [Virginia] reminds us that we live in a land of opportunity. We remember that the settlers at Berkeley came to America with the hope of building a better life. And we remember that immigrants in every generation have followed in their footsteps. Their dreams have helped transform 13 small colonies into a large and growing nation of more than 300 million people. Today, America we're blessed with great prosperity. We're blessed with farmers and ranchers who provide us with abundant food. We're blessed with the world's finest workers; with entrepreneurs who create new jobs. We're blessed with devoted teachers who prepare our children for the opportunities of tomorrow. We're blessed with a system of free enterprise that makes it possible for people of all backgrounds to rise in society and realize their dreams. These blessings have helped us build a strong and growing economy -- and these blessings have filled our lives with hope. The story of Berkeley reminds us that we live in a nation dedicated to liberty. In 1776, Berkeley's owner, Benjamin Harrison, became one of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence. In the Declaration, we see the founders' great hope for our country, their conviction that we're all created equal, with the God- given right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. At times, America has fallen short of these ideals. We remember that the expansion of our country came at a terrible cost to Native American tribes. We remember that many people came to the New World in chains rather than by choice. For many years, slaves were held against their will here at Berkeley and other plantations -- and their bondage is a shameful chapter in our nation's history. Today, we're grateful to live in a more perfect union. Yet our society still faces divisions that hold us back. These divisions have roots in the bitter experiences of our past -- and have no place in America's future. (Applause.) The work of realizing the ideals of our founding continues. And we must not rest until the promise of America is real for all our citizens."