Here in America we are descended in blood and in spirit from revolutionist and rebel men and women who dare to disssent from accepted doctrine. As their heirs, may we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion.
More than ever before, in our country, this is the age of the individual. Endowed with the accumulated knowledge of centuries, armed with all the instruments of modern science, he is still assured personal freedom and wide avenues of expression so that he may win for himself, his family and his country greater material comfort, ease and happiness; greater spiritual satisfaction and contentment.
Men and women, inspired by faith in man's dignity, goaded by conviction in man's responsibility, labored that this land might be a better home for those who followed them. Because every American generation attacked its problems with fresh vigor, we have peopled a continent, subdued its prairies and wilderness, tamed its rivers and devoted its resources to the betterment of those who dwell in it.
I make it a practice to avoid hating anyone. If someone's been guilty of despicable actions, especially toward me, I try to forget him. I used to follow a practice-somewhat contrived, I admit-to write the man's name on a piece of scrap paper, drop it into the lowest drawer of my desk, and say to myself: "That finishes the incident, and so far as I'm concerned, that fellow. The drawer became over the years a sort of private wastebasket for crumpled-up spite and discarded personalities. Besides, it seemed to be effective, and helped me avoid harboring useless black feelings.
Freedom from fear and injustice and oppression will be ours only in the measure that men who value such freedom are ready to sustain its possession - to defend it against every thrust from within or without.