For decades, the 4th of July has been a prominently carefree holiday. One filled with sun, BBQs, and fireworks. However, as with many things, this year feels different. The world is still working to limit the spread of a deadly virus and, in America, we’re reeling with the largest civil unrest we’ve seen in a lifetime.

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As adults, we’re still processing everything that’s happening around us. Our kids are too. Instead of focusing on how we can’t celebrate like we usually do, let’s take this opportunity to shift how we celebrate. Including taking this time to reflect, to connect, and to celebrate America and recognize its flaws. To help get you into the true spirit of the holiday, here are a few quotes that will lift your American spirit:

“In the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.”
– Barack Obama

“Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.”
– Franklin D. Roosevelt

“We have a positive vision of the future founded on the belief that the gap between the promise and reality of America can one day be finally closed. We believe that.”
– Barbara Jordan

“Americans don’t settle. We build, we aspire, we listen to that voice inside that says, “We can do better.” A better job; a better life for our kids; a bigger, better country.”
– Mitt Romney

“America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.”
-Harry S. Truman

“I love America more than any other country in this world and exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.”
– James Baldwin

“America’s darkest days have always—always—been followed by our finest hours.”
– Aaron Sorkin

“Here in America, we don’t let our differences tear us apart. Not here. Because we know that our greatness comes from when we appreciate each other’s strengths, when we learn from each other, when we lean on each other, because in this country, it’s never been each person for themselves. No, we’re all in this together. We always have been.”
– Michelle Obama

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“Americans never quit. We never surrender. We never hide from history. We make history.”
– John McCain

“For change often seems impossible until it is inevitable. Just as we must own our lives, we must own our country. For, we, the people, are ultimately in control of America’s story.”
– Valerie Jarrett

“Where you see wrong or inequality or injustice, speak out, because this is your country. This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on.”
– Thurgood Marshall

“In America nobody says you have to keep the circumstances somebody else gives you,”
– Amy Tan

“I say to you that our goal is freedom, and I believe we are going to get there because however much she strays away from it, the goal of America is freedom.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.

This 4th of July, between enjoying summer fun and taking in evening fireworks, find some time to reflect on what America stands for. While not perfect, it’s a country that was founded for “the people” on the mountain for freedom. It‘s still a work in progress but it’s work that we should be honored to carry on.

Happy 4th, everyone!

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