Some foundational quotes from the Great Fathers of our nation.  Many of the ideas that we espouse, aspire to, attack and fall short in reaching today are already evident at the beginning.  Celebrate our freedom and independence this weekend and have a great holiday!

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth ……

…the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. 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. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.  – The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America

Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all.  –  George Washington

A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor and bread it has earned – this is the sum of good government. –  Thomas Jefferson

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.  – Thomas Jefferson

Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. – George Washington

My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.  – Thomas Paine

We have spent the prime of our lives in procuring [young men] the precious blessing of liberty. Let them spend theirs in showing that it is the great parent of science and of virtue; and that a nation will be great in both always in proportion as it is free.  – Thomas Jefferson

Someday, following the example of the United States of America, there will be a United States of Europe.  – George Washington

Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.  – George Washington

Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice. – Thomas Paine

To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace. – George Washington

It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.  –  George Washington

Almighty God hath created the mind free. All attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burdens . . . are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion . . . No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship or ministry or shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but all men shall be free to profess and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion. I know but one code of morality for men whether acting singly or collectively.  – The Jefferson Monument quoting Jefferson on religious freedom

Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples’ liberty’s teeth. – George Washington

He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself. – Thomas Paine

I can only say that there is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do to see a plan adopted for the abolition of slavery.  – George Washington

My first wish is to see this plague of mankind, war, banished from the earth.   – George Washington

Let your heart feel for the afflictions and distress of everyone, and let your hand give in proportion to your purse. – George Washington

Give me liberty or give me death.  – Patrick Henry

Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.  – Benjamin Franklin