On U.S. Independence Day, President Barack Obama is calling on
Americans to remember the spirit of the nation's founders, and to
embrace his domestic initiatives. Republican Senator John McCain, meanwhile, wants stronger
U.S. language against Iran's violent crackdown on protesters.
Obama, in his weekly address, asks Americans to remember the sacrifices
and achievements of the men who voted for independence 233 years ago.
are called to remember how unlikely it was that our American experiment
would succeed at all; that a small band of patriots would declare
independence from a powerful empire; and that they would form, in the
new world, what the old world had never known - a government of, by and
for the people," he said.
In July, 1776, the representatives of
13 British colonies in America, gathered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
voted to declare independence from Britain and formed a new nation. At
the same time, colonists in hastily-organized and poorly-financed
militias battled the British Army for several years, until London
officially recognized U.S. independence.
Mr. Obama called on
Americans to recall those patriots' spirit and support his plans to
reform the U.S. education, health care and energy policies.
are not a people who fear the future," he said. "We are a people who
make it. And on this July 4th, we need to summon that spirit once
more. We need to summon the same spirit that inhabited Independence
Hall 233 years ago today."
The president is celebrating
Independence Day with a traditional barbecue and fireworks on the White
House lawn, with 1,200 military families invited to attend. He is also
celebrating his daughter Malia's eleventh birthday. Mr. Obama leaves
late Sunday for a week-long trip to Russia, Italy and Ghana.
the weekly Republican Party message, Senator John McCain of Arizona is
also paying tribute to the nation's founding fathers, who he says
"stood up to a powerful oppressor and claimed their natural right to
McCain is also invoking the patriots' spirit as he
calls on the Obama administration to speak out more forcefully in
support of the anti-government protesters in Iran.
not ask us to arm them or come to their assistance with anything other
than public declarations of solidarity and public denunciations of the
tyrants who oppress them. We have a moral obligation to do so," he
Senator McCain is rejecting earlier White House claims
that a more vocal response by Washington would have supported the
Iranian government's claims of U.S. interference.
really believe Iranians do not know why they are protesting, and who is
oppressing them? Do they think Iranians whose votes were discarded,
whose voices have been ignored, whose lives have been threatened by the
regime they wish to be rid of, will think America has put them in that
position?" he said.
U.S. Independence Day is traditionally
celebrated with picnics, parades, concerts, fireworks displays, and
readings of the Declaration of Independence.