16 Quotes about the 4th of July and What it Means to be American

America is the land of the free and the home of the brave. But we did not become the land of the free without much sacrifice, transcendent idealism, and countless heroic acts of bravery. Today, on America’s birthday, take a moment to share and reflect on some incredible 4th of July quotes. These are patriotic sentiments from Presidents, writers and cultural influencers that capture the true essence of what it means to be American. Some of these quotes are very old, but still have striking relevance today. 

On Independence Day, we all should take part in the activities that make the 4th of July many Americans’ favorite holiday. Having the freedom to enjoy family barbecues, firework shows and ice cold cocktails by the water are just some of the things that make America such a wonderful place. However, it’s also important to take a few moments to reflect on the ideas and movements that helped get us here. It may help you carry this Patriotic feeling with you long after the holiday is over. 

Iwo Jima Memorial.

“That is the truly beautiful and encouraging aspect of freedom; no one struggles for it just for himself.”


The book and the American Flag.

“With freedom, books, flowers and the moon, who could not be happy?”


Harry S. Truman.

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


New York City and the American Flag.

“One flag, one land, one heart, one hand, one nation forevermore!”


Patriotic neighbors.

“Freedom is not won on the battlefields. The chance for freedom is won there. The final battle is won or lost in our hearts and minds.”


American flag, through the struggle.

“Freedom is fragile and must be protected. To sacrifice it, even as a temporary measure, is to betray it.”


William Faulkner, 1949 Noble Prize Winner

“We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.”


Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela.

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”


John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy

“The American, by nature, is optimistic. He is experimental, an inventor, and a builder who builds best when called upon to build greatly.”


American Flag and the greatest city in the world
American Flag and the Greatest City in the World

“I believe in America because we have great dreams, and because we have the opportunity to make those dreams come true.”


John F. Kennedy asks you.
John F. Kennedy asks you.

“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

  • John F. Kennedy

The American Heartland.
The American Heartland.

“May we think of freedom not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right.”


Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt.

“In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved.”


Journalism
Journalism.

“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.”


Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice

“The essence of America — that which really unites us — is not ethnicity, or nationality, or religion. It is an idea — and what an idea it is: that you can come from humble circumstances and do great things. That it doesn’t matter where you came from, but where you are going.”


Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette
Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette

“Humanity has won its battle. Liberty now has a country.”

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