There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty that makes human nature rise above itself, in acts of bravery and heroism.
— Alexander Hamilton, “The Farmer Refuted,” February 23, 1775
And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world, ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.
— John F Kennedy, Inauguration Address: January 20, 1961
Yours is the profession of arms, the will to win, the sure knowledge that in war there is no substitute for victory; that if you lose, the nation will be destroyed; that the very obsession of your public service must be: Duty, Honor, Country.
— Douglas MacArthur, Duty, Honor, Country: May 12, 1962
This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure, as it has endured, will revive and will prosper.
— Franklin D. Roosevelt, First Inaugural Address: March 4, 1933
The name of American, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations.
— George Washington, Farewell Address: December 23, 1783
Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
— Patrick Henry, Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death: March 23, 1775
We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.
— John F. Kennedy, The Decision to Go to the Moon: May 25, 1961
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.
— Ronald Reagan, Address to the annual meeting of the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, March 30, 1961
This nation shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
— Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address: November 19, 1863
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
— Dr Martin Luther King Jr, I Have a Dream: August 23, 1968
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
— Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence: July 4, 1776
Yet America is a poem in our eyes; its ample geography dazzles the imagination, and it will not wait long for metres.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The Poet” Essays Second Series: 1844
Patriotism… is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.
— Adlai Stevenson, American Legion Convention Speech: August 27, 1952
A man’s country is not a certain area of land, of mountains, rivers, and woods, but it is a principle; and patriotism is loyalty to that principle.
— George William Curtis, Union College, Schenectady, NY Speech: July 20, 1857
Patriotism is easy to understand in America; it means looking out for yourself by looking out for your country.
— Calvin Coolidge, The Destiny of America: May 30, 1923
I think patriotism is like charity – it begins at home.
— Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady Volume 1: 1880
Without freedom of thought there can be no such thing as wisdom; and no such thing as liberty without freedom of speech.
— Benjamin Franklin, Dogwood Papers: 1722
The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time.
— Thomas Jefferson, Summary View of the Rights of British America: July 1774
There are those, I know, who will say that the liberation of humanity, the freedom of man and mind, is nothing but a dream. They are right. It is the American dream.
— Archibald MacLeish, 1960
Posterity: you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it.
— John Quincy Adams