FLASHBACK: Ronald Reagan Calls For the Nation to Unify on Independence Day (VIDEO)

Ronald Reagan

On July 4th, 1986, President Ronald Reagan, well into his second term in office, spoke to the nation on that Independence Day to remind us all of the heroic spirit and optimism for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness which helped craft us into the greatest country the world had ever known.

A bold and eloquent speaker, Reagan’s address to the country became a high benchmark for future presidents to follow. While this speech was given decades ago, it echos through the years as fresh as ever as we reflect on the importance of Fourth of July once again.

Watch the full speech below:

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Always Remember

In his speech, President Reagan emphasized the historical significance of the day, recalling the celebrations that took place across the land after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. He also doesn’t gloss over the men who bled for our nation so that we may be free, highlighting the bravery and commitment of the founding fathers who signed the declaration, pledging their lives and fortunes for the cause of independence.

Reagan made special note that as we remember the birth of our nation, we remember the universal claim to human dignity and freedom upon which the nation was built.

As Reagan and other Americans in that moment reflected on the past, the President also emphasized the importance of unity and courage, both in the past and the present. He recounted his experiences visiting historic landmarks and meeting young Americans in uniform, praising their bravery and expressing hope that their courage will never be tested in battle.

More importantly, and this hits as hard today as it did then, Reagan warned about the dangers of partisan politics and divisive forces within the country, drawing on the example of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson’s reconciliation late in life. He underscores the lesson of brotherhood and tolerance for one another, emphasizing the strength of America as a nation.

If you remember nothing else, remember Reagan’s call to all Americans to keep faith with the great figures of the past and to prioritize what unites them over what divides them. He reaffirmed the unity of the nation, regardless of religion, race, or political affiliation, emphasizing the shared values of freedom and hope.

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