[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1993, Book I)]
[June 29, 1993]
[Page 959]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]



[[Page 959]]


Message on the Observance of Independence Day, 1993
June 29, 1993

    On Independence Day, we celebrate the birth of the first and 
greatest democracy of the modern era. The ideals embodied by the 
Declaration of Independence have served as a guide for our nation and as 
an inspiration for people around the world. This document delineated the 
very idea of America, that individual rights are derived not from the 
generosity of the government, but from the hand of the Almighty. The 
Founders forever abandoned their allegiance to the old European notions 
of caste and instead dedicated themselves to the belief that all people 
are created equal.
    The brilliant men who gathered in Philadelphia 218 years ago to 
declare our nation's independence risked their honor, their fortunes, 
and their very lives to create a better future for their children and 
grandchildren. As the inheritors of freedom's legacy, we owe our 
liberties to the fact that our Founders saw the need for dramatic change 
and acted upon it.
    Today, vast changes are sweeping the globe. Nations that have known 
only tyranny for centuries are suddenly dedicating themselves to the 
ideals of freedom and democracy. And wherever freedom is proclaimed, 
echoes of the American Declaration of Independence can be heard. Thomas 
Jefferson's words are being spoken in dozens of nations in hundreds of 
languages.
    We are justly proud of the influence that our beliefs have had on 
the world. But the mission of America is far from complete. While the 
world is filled with opportunity, it is rife with uncertainty. We must 
dedicate ourselves to carrying on the dreams of the Founders and adding 
our own chapter to the unfinished American autobiography. By embracing 
the changes that are altering the landscape of the world today, we help 
ensure a brighter, more democratic, and more peaceful world. On this 
Independence Day, I encourage all Americans to rededicate themselves to 
the conviction that our heroic journey must go forever upward.
    Best wishes to everyone for a wonderful day.

                                                            Bill Clinton