Beacon of hope for free world

PUBLISHED : Friday, 04 July, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 04 July, 1997, 12:00am

I am pleased to join my fellow Americans across the nation and around the world in celebrating Independence Day.

Looking back across two centuries, we still marvel at the courage and vision of our nation's founders.

With clear eyes and staunch hearts, they fashioned a new form of government for our new country, a government that honours human dignity and protects individual human rights.

They devised a democracy strong enough to endure through the ages, yet flexible enough to meet new challenges and achieve new dreams. In doing so, they made America a beacon of hope for generations of people around the world who cherish liberty and justice.

We have much to celebrate on this Independence Day. The journey our nation began more than 220 years ago has brought us to a time of peace and prosperity, a time of unprecedented opportunity to realise the full potential of all our citizens.

As heirs to the freedom and equality bequeathed to us in the Declaration of Independence, it is now our responsibility - and privilege - to build on that legacy and ensure that America's promise holds true for all our people.

As we join with family and friends to commemorate another Fourth of July, let us resolve to make America a land where prejudice and discrimination have no place, to recognise that the values and ideals we share are more powerful and enduring than any force that would divide us and to enter the 21st Century as the 'more perfect union' first envisioned by our founders two centuries ago.

Hillary joins me in extending best wishes for a wonderful Fourth of July celebration.

BILL CLINTON, President of the United States of America.