This generation of Americans has been tested by crises that steeled our resolve and proved our resilience. A decade of war is now ending. An economic recovery has begun. America’s possibilities are limitless, for we possess all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands: youth and drive; diversity and openness; an endless capacity for risk and a gift for reinvention. My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it — so long as we seize it together.
– President Barack Obama, January 21, 2013
The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists, who are dedicated to justice, peace, and brotherhood. The trailblazers in human, academic, scientific, and religious freedom have always been nonconformists. In any cause that concerns the progress of mankind, put your faith in the nonconformist! (1963)
Let us rise up tonight with a greater readiness. Let us stand with a greater determination. And let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge to make America what it ought to be. We have an opportunity to make America a better nation. (1968)
– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
On September 11th, 2012:
I HEAR America singing, the varied carols I hear;
Those of mechanics — each one singing his, as it should be, blithe and strong;
The carpenter singing his, as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing his, as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work;
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat — the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck;
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench — the hatter singing as he stands;
The wood-cutter’s song — the ploughboy’s, on his way in the morning, or at the noon intermission, or at sundown;
The delicious singing of the mother — or of the young wife at work — or of the girl sewing or washing — Each singing what belongs to her, and to none else;
The day what belongs to the day — At night, the party of young fellows, robust, friendly,
Singing, with open mouths, their strong melodious songs.
– Leaves of Grass (1900) by Walt Whitman