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Happy Fourth of July from the ACLU!

Anthony D. Romero,
ACLU Executive Director
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July 3, 2008

On this day 232 years ago, our founders brought forth a new nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all people are created equal. With their minds set on life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, they proceeded to lay the foundation of a great nation to be governed by the will of the people, bestowed with a balance of power among the branches of government, and free of tyranny.

The fight to preserve our essential liberties is as important today as it was then. Over the last seven years, those in power in this country have brought forth a steady stream of threats to the fundamental rights enshrined in our Constitution. From freedom of speech and the right to habeas corpus, to the right to vote and be treated equally under the law, so many of our personal liberties have come under attack.

This weekend, as we enjoy our barbecues, our baseball games, and our fireworks, we should also take a moment to remember that there can be no greater tribute to a nation born of the desire to protect individual freedom and liberty than to stand up for those very founding principles when they are attacked.

Patriotism doesn’t mean blindly following the will of a few. It means being part of an informed and involved citizenry. It means exercising dissent by speaking out when you don’t believe in what is happening. It means being constantly vigilant in the protection of civil liberties, and holding government officials accountable when they take aim at our freedoms. And above all, patriotism means loving this country so much that we will fight to protect the things that make it great for generations to come.

This Independence Day, join us in celebrating our great nation by remembering the things upon which it was founded: Liberty and Justice for all.

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