“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…”

Those words on July 4, 1776, birthed a new nation to the world. The greatest country the world has ever seen, a beacon of hope for all mankind, founded on the principles of liberty and freedom. As we celebrate our Independence Day this year, let’s take a look back at some of the most iconic patriotic images from throughout the history of the United States of America.

1. The signing of the Declaration of Independence.

The signatures heard ’round the world. On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress ratified the Declaration of Independence, thus creating the United States of America. This painting by John Trumbull is displayed in the Capitol Rotunda.

2. George Washington Crossing the Delaware River.

General Washington moved our troops from Pennsylvania to New Jersey across the Delaware River in a surprise attack on Christmas night in 1776. The success boosted the morale of the army and Washington’s status as a leader.

3. President Abraham Lincoln holding the American flag.

The first Republican, President Abraham Lincoln fought to preserve the Union and in doing so fulfilled the promise of the Declaration of Independence – “All men are created equal” – and freed the slaves.

4. Jesse Owens wins gold at Hitler’s Olympic Games.

Track and field athlete Jesse Owens put Hitler and his Aryan race superiority to shame in the Olympic games hosted in Berlin, Germany, in the run-up to World War II with his 4 gold medals. This iconic picture of Owens saluting the flag while his German competitor does the Nazi “Heil Hitler” salute is a visual reminder of America’s superiority.

5. U.S. forces storming the beaches of Normandy.

This D-Day photo of U.S. troops landing on Omaha Beach in Normandy is titled “Taxis to Hell – and Back – Into the Jaws of Death” and you can see exactly what our men bravely faced – a slog through waist deep ocean, an exposed run across the beach and then scaling the bluffs all while under heavy enemy fire. Incredible heroism that turned the tide of the war!

6. Marines raising the flag on Iwo Jima.

Iwo Jima was the location of the first American strike on the Japanese Home Islands in World War II and this iconic picture captures the raising of the American flag in the battle the U.S. ultimately won after several weeks. The Marines suffered heavy casualties and a statue depicting the photograph serves as the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia.

7. Planting the American flag on the Moon.

The ultimate symbol of the U.S. winning the space race, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planted the American flag on the moon when they became the first men to walk on the moon in 1969.

8. USA beats Russia in the “Miracle on Ice.”

At the height of the Cold War, the 1980 Winter Olympics pitted the amateur American hockey players battling against the professional Soviet Union players who had won Gold 6 out of the previous 7 Olympics. By some miracle the Americans defeated the Soviets in a huge upset and went on to win the Gold.

9. President Reagan tells Mr. Gorbachev to “Tear Down This Wall.”

In 1987, President Ronald Reagan stood at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, and demanded, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” Two years later the unthinkable (to liberals, at least) happened, the U.S. won the Cold War and the wall came down.

10. 9/11 firefighters raise the flag at Ground Zero.

Sun hadn’t even set on Ground Zero, the wreckage was still smoldering, rescue attempts continued, but amidst it all three firemen stood surrounded by debris and raised an American flag, a symbol of hope and American resolve against a terrorist enemy that had struck only hours earlier on 9/11/2001.

Now doesn’t all that make you feel damn proud to be an American?!

GOD BLESS AMERICA! Happy Independence Day, everybody! Share this post today to celebrate America’s greatness!

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