THE FOURTH of July, American Independence Day, is a good opportunity to reflect back on the ideals of the founders of the United States - people such as Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Franklin - and to think about the vision for the country they were establishing. It is also an appropriate time to look at where we are today in light of the goals of 1776.
I think that the founders would be pleased to see how the ideals of freedom, democracy and the basic rights of each individual human being - such new concepts 229 years ago - have spread throughout the world. They would be amazed that their little experiment had developed into a world superpower, and would be gratified to see this power being used to topple tyrants and create conditions in which the people of other nations could choose their own leaders and their own destinies. They would be glad that the United States stands on the side of dissidents and political prisoners and against those who use violence against the innocent to impose their own darker vision of the world. They would be proud that millions have been inspired to come to the United States to enjoy those rights and freedoms.
The Founding Fathers would also be pleased to see those principles had taken root elsewhere, in countries like Slovakia, where people share an appreciation for freedom and the willingness to help others achieve what they have gained. These shared principles mean that July 4 commemorates not only American independence, but also the first step towards freedom of peoples all around the world.
Scott Thayer is the US Charges d'Affaires in Slovakia.
27. Jun 2005 at 0:00 | Scott Thayer