“Fellow citizens, above your national, tumultuous joy, I hear the mournful wail of millions! Whose chains, heavy and grievous yesterday, are, today, rendered more intolerable by the jubilee shouts that reach them.”
As usual, on this day I ask you to please re-read the words of the great Frederick Douglass. Let us think of those who are still enslaved around the world. Let us think on those who are suffering the perils of war and poverty. Let us look upon our gifts and pleasures and be thankful. Let us remember, too, the ways in which we are still in bondage within our own hearts and souls.
Which way freedom? Through the morass, my friends. Through the morass, and into the arms of love.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident”: That we are complicit in the suffering of others. That we must strive to do better in our lives: in our relationships, in our care for our brothers and sisters of this earth, in our care of the seas and soil, stars and sands, honeybee and bluefin tuna. We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all of us are deserving of a second chance. All of us are deserving of the power of love.
We make this declaration: We shall strive for our own freedom, and the freedom of our brothers and sisters, under love. We shall care for the this planet and the cosmos and the plants and creatures who share this space with us, as we care for ourselves. We shall speak, and work, and walk, and live in love. Love is the law: shared love and shared power.