Churchill on July 4, 1918

Churchill on July 4, 1918

Hap­py 4th from Hills­dale College.

“The Third Great Title-Deed of Anglo-Amer­i­can Liberties”

Win­ston S. Churchill, Lib­er­ty Day Meet­ing, Cen­tral Hall, West­min­ster, July 4, 1918. Excerpt­ed from Robert Rhodes James, Win­ston S. Churchill: His Com­plete Speech­es 1897-1963, 8 vols. (New York: Bowk­er, 1974), III 2613-16.


1917PrivyConsPostcardCropI move that the fol­low­ing res­o­lu­tion be cabled from the meet­ing as a greet­ing to the Pres­i­dent and peo­ple of the Unit­ed States of Amer­i­ca: This meet­ing of the Anglo-Sax­on Fel­low­ship assem­bled in Lon­don on the 4th of July, 1918, sends to the Pres­i­dent and peo­ple of the Unit­ed States their heart­felt greet­ings on the 142nd anniver­sary of the Dec­la­ra­tion of Amer­i­can Inde­pen­dence. They rejoice that the love of lib­er­ty and jus­tice on which the Amer­i­can nation was found­ed should in the present time of tri­al have unit­ed the whole Eng­lish-speak­ing fam­i­ly in a broth­er­hood of arms.

We are met here to-day at West­min­ster to cel­e­brate the nation­al fes­ti­val of the Amer­i­can peo­ple and the 142nd anniver­sary of the Dec­la­ra­tion of Inde­pen­dence. We are met here also as broth­ers-in-arms fac­ing for a right­eous cause grave injuries and per­ils and pass­ing through times of excep­tion­al anx­i­ety and suf­fer­ing. We there­fore seek to draw from the past his­to­ry of our race inspi­ra­tion and com­fort to cheer our hearts and for­ti­fy and puri­fy our res­o­lu­tion and our comradeship.

A great har­mo­ny exists between the spir­it and lan­guage of the Dec­la­ra­tion of Inde­pen­dence and all we are fight­ing for now. A sim­i­lar har­mo­ny exists between the prin­ci­ples of that Dec­la­ra­tion and all that the British peo­ple have wished to stand for, and have in fact achieved at last both here at home and in the self-gov­ern­ing Domin­ions of the Crown.

The Dec­la­ra­tion of Inde­pen­dence is not only an Amer­i­can doc­u­ment. It fol­lows on Magna Car­ta and the Bill of Rights as the third great title-deed on which the lib­er­ties of the Eng­lish-speak­ing peo­ple are found­ed. By it we lost an Empire, but by it we also pre­served an Empire. By apply­ing its prin­ci­ples and learn­ing its les­son we have main­tained our com­mu­nion with the pow­er­ful Com­mon­wealths our chil­dren have estab­lished beyond the seas.

Wher­ev­er men seek to frame pol­i­tics or con­sti­tu­tions which safe­guard the cit­i­zen, be he rich or poor, on the one hand from the shame of despo­tism, on the oth­er from the mis­eries of anar­chy, which com­bine per­son­al free­dom with respect for law and love of coun­try, it is to the inspi­ra­tion which orig­i­nal­ly sprang from the Eng­lish soil and from the Anglo-Sax­on mind that they will inevitably recur. We there­fore join in per­fect sin­cer­i­ty and sim­plic­i­ty with our Amer­i­can kith and kin in cel­e­brat­ing the aus­pi­cious and glo­ri­ous anniver­sary of their nationhood.

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