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  • I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America,

  • and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

  • Narrator: In the jungles of New Guinea,

  • on the barren shores of the Aleutians,

  • in the tropic heat of the Pacific Islands,

  • in the subzero cold of the skies over Germany,

  • in Burma and Iceland,

  • the Philippines and Iran,

  • France,

  • in China and Italy,

  • Americans fighting.

  • Fighting over an area extending seven-eighths of the way around the world.

  • Men from the green hills of New England;

  • the sun-baked plains of the Middle West;

  • the cotton fields of the South;

  • the close-packed streets of Manhattan, Chicago;

  • the teeming factories of Detroit, Los Angeles;

  • the endless stretching distances of the Southwest;

  • men from the hills and from the plains;

  • from the villages and from the cities;

  • bookkeepers; soda jerks; mechanics; college students;

  • rich man; poor man; beggar man; thief;

  • doctor; lawyer; merchant; chief.

  • Now veteran fighting men.

  • Yet two years ago many had never fired a gun or seen the ocean or been off the ground.

  • Americans, fighting for their country while half a world away from it.

  • Fighting for their country, and for more than their country.

  • Fighting for an idea, the idea bigger than the country.

  • Without the idea the country might have remained only a wilderness.

  • Without the country, the idea might have remained only a dream.

  • Chorus: [Singing]

  • Narrator: Over this ocean.

  • 1607, Jamestown.

  • 1620, Plymouth Rock.

  • Here was America: the sea, the sky, the virgin continent.

  • We came in search of freedom, facing unknown dangers rather than bend the knee or bow to tyranny.

  • Out of the native oak and pine we built a house, a church, a watchtower.

  • We cleared a field, and there grew up a colony of free citizens.

  • We carved new states out of the green wilderness: Virginia, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Carolina.

  • Then came the first test in the defense of that liberty: 1775, Lexington.

  • Our leaders spoke our deepest needs:

  • Colonists are by the law of nature free-born, as indeed all men are!”

  • It is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government.”

  • These are the times that try men’s souls.”

  • But as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

  • In the midst of battle, it happened. The idea grew, the idea took form.

  • Something new was expressed by men, a new and revolutionary doctrine, the greatest creative force in human relations:

  • all men are created equal, all men are entitled to the blessings of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

  • That’s the goal we set for ourselves.

  • Defeat meant hanging. Victory meant a world in which Americans rule themselves.

  • 1777, Valley Forge.

  • We fought and froze, suffered and died, for what?

  • For the future freedom of all Americans.

  • A few of us doubted and despaired. Most of us prayed and endured all.

  • 1781, Yorktown.

  • Now we were a free independent nation.

  • The new idea had won its first test. Now to pass it on to future Americans.

  • The Constitution, the sacred charter ofWe the People,”

  • the blood and sweat ofWe the People,”

  • the life, liberty, and happiness ofWe the People.”

  • The people were to rule.

  • Not some of the people, not the best people or the worst, not the rich people or the poor,

  • butWe the People,” all the people.

  • In this brotherhood America was born, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

  • We began as 13 states along the Atlantic seaboard.

  • We pushed across the Alleghenies, the Ohio River, the Mississippi, the last far range of the distant Rockies.

  • We carried freedom with us.

  • No aristocratic classes here, no kings, no nobles or princes, no state church, no courts, no parasites, no divine right of man to rule a man.

  • Here humanity was making a clean fresh start from scratch.

  • Behind us we left new states, chips off the old blocks welded together by freedom.

  • Chorus: ♪ My country, 'tis of thee, ♪ ♪ Sweet land of liberty, ♪

  • Of thee I sing; ♪

  • Land where my fathers died, ♪ ♪ Land of the pilgrims' pride, ♪

  • From every mountainside ♪ ♪ Let freedom ring! ♪

  • Narrator: Until finally we were one nation, a land of hope and opportunity that had arisen out of a skeptical world.

  • A light was shining, freedom’s light.

  • From every country and every clime, men saw that light and turned their faces toward it.

  • Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.

  • The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

  • Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

  • As strangers to one another we came and built a country, and the country built us into Americans.

  • The sweat of the men of old nations was poured out to build a new.

  • The sweat of our first settlers: the English, the Scotch, the Dutch, building the workshop of New England;

  • of the Italian in the sulfur mines of Louisiana;

  • of the Frenchmen and the Swiss in the vineyards of California and New York state;

  • of the Dane, the Norwegian, the Swede, seeding the good earth to make the Midwest bloom with grain;

  • of the Pole and the Welshman;

  • of the Negro harvesting cotton in the hot Southern sun;

  • of the Spaniard, the first to roam the great Southwest;

  • of the Mexican in the oil fields of Texas and on the ranches of New Mexico;

  • of the Greek and the Portuguese, harvesting the crop the oceans yield;

  • of the German with his technical skill;

  • of the Hungarian and the Russian;

  • of the Irishman, the Slav, and the Chinese working side-by-side

  • the sweat of Americans. And a great nation was built.

  • [Music]

  • Yes, the sweat of the men of all nations built Americaand the blood.

  • For the blood of Americans has been freely shed.

  • Five times in our history have we withstood the challenge to the idea that made our nation:

  • the idea of equality for all men; life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

  • The idea that made us the people we are.

  • Let’s take a look at ourselves before we went into this war.

  • Narrator 2: Well, first of all were a working people. On the land, at the work bench, at a desk.

  • And were an inventive people. The lightning rod, cotton gin, the telegraph,

  • the blessed anesthesia of ether, the rotary printing press, the telephone,

  • electric welding, the incandescent lamp, submarine, steam turbine,

  • the motor-driven airplane, the x-ray tube, the gyroscope compass, the sewing machine, television:

  • all these and countless more bear witness to our inventiveness.

  • Cat: Meow.

  • Narrator 2: And this inventiveness and enterprise, plus our hard-won democratic ideal of the greatest good for the greatest number,

  • created for the average man the highest standard of living in the world.

  • Thirty-two and a half million registered automobiles, two-thirds of all the automobiles there are in the entire world.

  • We demand the highest standards in sanitation, purity of food, medical care.

  • Our hospitals are models for the world to copy.

  • We want the best for the average man, woman, or childparticularly child.

  • We have reduced the hazard of being born.

  • From then on we protect, foster, and generally spoil the majority of our children.

  • But it doesn’t seem to hurt them much.

  • They go to school, all kinds of schools:

  • to kindergartens, public schools, private schools, trade schools, high schools (to 25,000 high schools), and to college.

  • In the last war 20 percent of all the men in the armed forces had been to high school or college; in this war, 63 percent.

  • Were a great two weeks vacation people.

  • We hunt, and we fish.

  • Up north, down south, back east, out westwhen the season opens we hunt and fish.

  • Were a sports-loving people.

  • [Cheering and crowd noises]

  • [Music]

  • And were probably the travelingest nation in all history. We love to go places.

  • We have the cars, we have the roads, we have the scenery.

  • We don’t need passports, but sometimes we need alibis.

  • We sleep by the road; we eat by the road.

  • The foreigner is enchanted and amazed by what we like to put on our stomachs.

  • [Music]

  • And were a great joining people. We join clubs, fraternities, unions, federations.

  • Shove a blank at us, well sign up.

  • Radioswe have one in the living room,

  • the dining room,

  • the bedroom,

  • the bathroom,

  • in our cars,

  • in our hands, and up our sleeves.

  • Radio Announcer: Does your cigarette taste different lately?

  • Narrator 2: Musicwe couldn’t be without it.

  • [Music]

  • The press? Yes it’s the biggest, but most important it’s the freest on Earth:

  • over 12,000 newspapers of all shades of opinion;

  • books on every conceivable subject;

  • and more than 6,000 different magazines, not counting the comics.

  • Churches? We have every denomination on Earth.

  • Sixty million of us regularly attend and no one dares tell us which one to go to.

  • We elect our own neighbors to govern us.

  • We believe in individual enterprise and opportunity for men and women alike.

  • We make mistakes. We see the results.

  • We correct the mistakes.

  • We skyrocket into false prosperities, and then plummet down into false needless depressions.

  • But in spite of everything, we never lose our faith in the future.

  • We believe in the future. We build for the future.

  • Narrator: Yes, we build for the future and the future always catches up with us.

  • Before were done building, weve developed something new and have to start rebuilding.

  • That’s roughly the kind of people we are: boastful, easy-going, sentimental.

  • But underneath, passionately dedicated to the ideal our forefathers passed on to us: the liberty and dignity of man.

  • Weve made great material progress, but spiritually were still in the frontier days.

  • Yet deep down within us there’s a great yearning for peace and goodwill toward men.

  • Somehow we feel that if men turn their minds toward the fields of peace as they have toward the fields of transportation, communication, or aviation,

  • wars would soon be as old-fashioned as the horse and buggy days.

  • We hate war. We know that in war it’s the common man who does the paying, the suffering, the dying.