We're a blessed country here in the USA. 

No, we're not perfect. There are certainly some stains on our history.

But we're also a land that learns, progresses,  grows--and ultimately stays true to some of the loftiest ideals any country has ever articulated.

So this Independence Day, take a minute to explore some of the ideals that make us such a great nation. This land is your land, this land is my land. And it's the greatest land on earth.

Why? The quotes below illustrate it. Among all the countries in the world, we're the land of...

The land of democracy.

1. "It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried."

--Winston Churchill

2. "Democracy is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey cage."

--H. L. Mencken

3. "Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments."

--Alexander Hamilton

4. "Democracy arises out of the notion that those who are equal in any respect are equal in all respects; because men are equally free, they claim to be absolutely equal."


5. "Voting is completely important. People in America think democracy is a given. I think of it as an ecosystem, and what gets in the way of it is politicians and apathy."

--Henry Rollins

The land of immigrants.

6. Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists."

―Franklin D. Roosevelt

7. "The land flourished because it was fed from so many sources--because it was nourished by so many cultures and traditions and peoples." 

―Lyndon B. Johnson

8. "We asked for workers. We got people instead."

―Max Frisch

9.  "A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in.. And how many want out."

―Tony Blair

10. "My folks came to U.S. as immigrants, aliens, and became citizens. I was born in Boston, a citizen, went to Hollywood and became an alien."

--Leonard Nimoy

11. "I had always hoped that this land might become a safe and agreeable asylum to the virtuous and persecuted part of mankind, to whatever nation they might belong." ―President George Washington

The land of opportunity.

12. "The fact is: It's true what they say about the United States. It is a land of opportunity. It is too various to get bored with it."

--Christopher Hitchens

13. "If you're worried about getting a job-or keeping one-start a company of your own. By doing so, you'll reap the rewards of your hard work and you'll only get fired if you fail. This is the land of opportunity. Live in it."

- Bruce Campbell

14. "Go with your first thoughts; they're usually your best thoughts. Pay attention, stick to your goals and follow those guidelines. It's all right there if you reach for it, unless you want to punch timeclocks and work for somebody. That's what we liked about America, the land of opportunity. All your dreams can come true."

--Richard Danko

15. "Basically, there are two kinds of stereotypes out there in the world about America. There's America the Goliath - the big, powerful, bullying country that pushes its way around the world and gets its ways, pursues its own interests nakedly, irrespective of what others want. And the other stereotype is America, the land of opportunity, where everyone can go and do anything, be anything, make any dreams come true."

--Shashi Tharoor

The land of courage.

16.  "Winning isn't everything--but wanting to win is." 

― Vince Lombardi Jr.

17.  "Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty."

--President John F. Kennedy

18.  A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both."

--President Dwight D. Eisenhower

19. "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."

--President Thomas Jefferson

20. "The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it."

--General Norman Schwarzkopf

The land of leadership.

21.  "America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."

--Abraham Lincoln

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

--Harry S Truman

23.  The best leader is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and the self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it." 

--Theodore Roosevelt

24.  "Leadership requires the courage to make decisions that will benefit the next generation." 

--Alan Autry

25.  "A person who is worthy of being a leader wants power not for himself, but in order to be of service." 

--Senator Sam J. Ervin, Jr.

The land of pursuit of happiness.

26. "It takes great wit and interest and energy to be happy. The pursuit of happiness is a great activity. One must be open and alive. It is the greatest feat man has to accomplish."

--Robert Herrick

27.  "When I was growing up, I don't remember being told that America was created so that everyone could get rich. I remember being told it was about opportunity and the pursuit of happiness. Not happiness itself, but the pursuit."

--Martin Scorsese

28.  "I come before you to declare that my sex are entitled to the inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

--Victoria Woodhull

29.  "The Constitution only guarantees you the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself."

--Benjamin Franklin

The land of exploration and learning.

30.  "If everything was perfect, you would never learn and you would never grow."

--Beyonce Knowles

31.  "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."

--Thomas Edison

32.  "We've had three big ideas at Amazon that we've stuck with for 18 years, and they're the reason we're successful: Put the customer first. Invent. And be patient."

--Jeff Bezos

33.  "We stand today on the edge of a new frontier - the frontier of the 1960's - a frontier of unknown opportunities and perils - a frontier of unfulfilled hopes and threats."

-- John F. Kennedy

34.  "When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it."

--Henry Ford

35.  "There will always be a frontier where there is an open mind and a willing hand."

-- Charles Kettering

36.  "Americans... are forever searching for love in forms it never takes, in places it can never be. It must have something to do with the vanished frontier." 

― Kurt Vonnegut

37.  "You may live in an imperfect world but the frontiers are not closed and the doors are not all shut."

-- Maxwell Maltz

The land of family.

38.  "Family is not an important thing. It's everything."

-- Michael J. Fox

39.  "Happy or unhappy, families are all mysterious. We have only to imagine how differently we would be described - and will be, after our deaths - by each of the family members who believe they know us."

--Gloria Steinem

40. "You don't have to give birth to someone to have a family."

-- Sandra Bullock

41.  "Tennis is just a game, family is forever."

-- Serena Williams

The land of freedom.

42.  "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

-- Thomas Jefferson

43.  "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same."

-- Ronald Reagan

44.  "If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."

-- George Washington

45.  "I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free... so other people would be also free."

-- Rosa Parks

46.  "The more decisions that you are forced to make alone, the more you are aware of your freedom to choose."

-- Thornton Wilder

47.  "Freedom is from within."

-- Frank Lloyd Wright
48.  "If you're not ready to die for it, put the word 'freedom' out of your vocabulary."

-- Malcolm X

49.  "Freedom is something that dies unless it's used."

-- Hunter S. Thompson

50.  "The truth is I love being alive. And I love feeling free. So if I can't have those things then I feel like a caged animal and I'd rather not be in a cage. I'd rather be dead. And it's real simple. And I think it's not that uncommon." -- Angelina Jolie