Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Passing of an American Hero, June 5, 2004

"And whatever else history 
may say about me when I'm gone, 
I hope it will record that I appealed 
to your best hopes, 
not your worst fears, 
to your confidence rather than your doubts. 

My dream is that you will travel 
the road ahead 
with liberty's lamp guiding your steps 
and opportunity's arm steadying your way. 

My fondest hope for each one of you 
-- and especially for young people -- 
is that you will love your country, 
not for her power or wealth, 
but for her selflessness and her idealism. 
May each of you have the heart to conceive, 
the understanding to direct, 
and the hand to execute 
works that will make the world a little better 
for your having been here. 

May all of you as Americans 
never forget your heroic origins, 
never fail to seek divine guidance, 
and never lose your natural, God-given optimism. 
And finally, my fellow Americans, 
may every dawn 
be a great new beginning for America 
and every evening 
bring us closer to that shining city upon a hill." 

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