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Friday, July 1, 2011
Happy birthday, America! Happy birthday to you.

There are many ways to celebrate freedom, but none more appropriate than a list of great quotes enunciating a number of viewpoints on what true freedom is and of what real patriotism consists, some gloriously correct and some quite wrongheaded.
Patriots and patriotism
“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.” Mark Twain (American writer and social critic)
“True patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else.”  Clarence Seward Darrow (American lawyer and civil libertarian)
“There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.” Bill Clinton (U.S. President) 
“Patriotism is easy to understand in America; it means looking out for yourself by looking out for your country.”  Calvin Coolidge (U.S. President)
“Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it.” George Bernard Shaw (British author and cynic)
“We need a type of patriotism that recognizes the virtues of those who are opposed to us.”  Francis John McConnell (Methodist pastor)
“Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.” Howard Zinn (American dissident, of course)
“Guard against the impostors of pretended patriotism.” George Washington (U.S. President, and actual patriot)
Liberty: What it is
“Those who won our independence believed liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty.”  Louis D. Brandeis (U.S. Supreme Court Justice)
“There are two freedoms – the false, where a man is free to do what he likes; the true, where he is free to do what he ought.” Charles Kingsley (English priest and historian)
“Freedom is not worth having if it does not connote freedom to err.”  Mohandas Gandhi (Indian leader of its independence movement)
“Liberty is always dangerous, but it is the safest thing we have.”  Harry Emerson Fosdick (American clergyman)
“We on this continent should never forget that men first crossed the Atlantic not to find soil for their ploughs but to secure liberty for their souls.”  Robert J. McCracken (American clergyman)
Liberty -- and losing it
“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.”   Elmer Davis (American author)
“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.”  Thomas Paine (English-born author and American revolutionary)
“In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved.”   Franklin D. Roosevelt (U.S. President)
“We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.”   William Faulkner (American author)
“It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you.”  Attributed to M. Grundler
“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”  Benjamin Franklin (American founding father)
“Most people want security in this world, not liberty.”  H.L. Mencken (American author and cynic)
“Men fight for freedom, then they begin to accumulate laws to take it away from themselves.”  Attributed to Thomas Jefferson (U.S. President)
On Independence Day
“It is sweet to serve one's country by deeds, and it is not absurd to serve her by words.”  Sallust (Roman historian)
“That which distinguishes this day from all others is that then both orators and artillerymen shoot blank cartridges.”  John Burroughs (American naturalist and essayist)
Gary D. Gaddy would like to thank every person whoever served this nation in defending its freedom.  (Go to to read past columns.)
A version of this story was published in the Chapel Hill Herald on Friday July 1, 2011.
Copyright  2011  Gary D. Gaddy  

Authored by Gary G. Gaddy at 8:00 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, June 29, 2011 11:14 AM EDT
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