Dear reader, this very long article was written by the Chronicle Editor as no other credit is given and it is concluded on the Editorial page. Though it will take three articles to complete it is worth considering, as it is 100 years old today.
CHRONICLE. July 2, 1919. OUR COUNTRY IS GREATEST ON EARTH. Pause Long Enough In Your Rush for Business or Pleasure to Read What Some of Our Greatest Men and Patriots Have Said.
The Fourth of July is above all other days an occasion for every one of us, of whatever birth and whatever station in life, to take stock of our Americanism and of the advantages that we enjoy as citizens of the United States.
Our country is one hundred and forty-three years old today. When the white man came to America, he found an unbroken wilderness from which a few savages drew a scanty living; now within her borders dwell over one hundred million people with a standard of living equaled nowhere else in the world.
Orderly Government and Industry have made the difference. Destroy these and America would quickly sink back to a primitive condition wholly incapable of supporting our present great population.
We cannot fully measure our debt to our country, but we can gain a clearer sense of our obligation from the words of those who have been most conspicuous in their devotion to her advancement.
The name that first came to our minds is that of GEORGE WASHINGTON, “The Father of His Country,” He speaks to each of us when he says: “Citizens by birth or choice of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism.”
Inspired by Washington’s example, the French patriot, the MARQUIS DE LAFAYETTE, hastened to America to aid in her struggle for independence. Looking back on that day he wrote: “From the moment that I first heard the name of America, I loved her; from the moment that I learned of her struggle for liberty, I was inflamed with the desire of shedding my blood in her cause.”
But a people cannot long retain their liberty without a System of Government and law. Among those who clearly saw this truth was ALEXANDER HAMILTON, who toiled day and night for the adoption of the Constitution of the United States. When that constitution was in danger he said, “ A nation without a national government is in my view an awful spectacle. The establishment of a Constitution in time of profound peace, by the voluntary action of all the people is a prodigy...it is impossible for the man of pious reflection not to perceive in it a finger of that Almighty hand which has been so frequently and signally extended in our relief.”
These words of Alexander Hamilton inspire us to loyalty to the Constitution of the United States. Our Constitution established the most popular and at the same time the strongest government that the world has ever seen and it did so because it added Law to Liberty
Yes, our forefathers were conscious of needing something more. As that great patriot, THOMAS JEFFERSON, said: “Though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable...the minority possess their equal rights which equal law must protect and to violate which would be oppression.” By these words we are warned that Self-Control and a Sense of Justice are vital to the preservation of Liberty.