"This government must be preserved in spite of the acts of
any man or set of men. Nowhere in the world is presented a government of so much liberty and equality. To the humblest and poorest among us are held the highest privileges and positions.
What constitutes the bulwark of our liberty and independence? It is not the frowning battlements, or bristling seacoast, our army and navy. These are not our reliance against tyranny. Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in us. Our defense is in the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands everywhere. Destroy this spirit and you have planted the seeds of despotism at your own doors.
At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? Shall we expect some transatlantic giant to step the ocean and crush us at a blow?
Never. All the armies of Europe, Asia, and Africa combined could not, by force, take a drink from the Ohio or make a track on the Blue Ridge.
At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up among us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we ourselves, must be its author and its finisher. As a nation of free men, we must live through all time . . . or die by suicide. Surely God would not have created such a being as man, with an ability to grasp the infinite to exist only for a day.
No . . . No . . . Man was made for immortality."
DID YOU KNOW ...
The Hall Of Presidents grew out of a concept Walt Disney first designed in 1958 for Disneyland called "One Nation Under God."
Original version of the speech used in the attraction from 1971 to 1993:
"My fellow countrymen, I have often inquired of myself, what great principle or idea it was that kept this confederacy so long together. It was that all should have an equal chance, that all are created equal. This is the sentiment embodied in the Declaration of Independence. Most governments have been based on the denial of rights. Ours began by affirming our rights. Let us turn this government into the channel in which the framers of the Constitution originally placed it. If we cannot give freedom to every creature, let us do nothing that will impose upon another creature. True democracy makes no inquiry about the color of the skin, or place of birth, or any other circumstance or condition. We propose to give all a chance. We expect the weak to grow stronger, the ignorant wiser, and all better and happier together. Let it be as nearly reached as we can. For the struggle of today is not altogether for today. It is for the vast future also. So may our children, and our children's children for a thousand generations rejoice under those glorious institutions bequeathed us by Washington and continue to enjoy the benefits conferred upon us by a united country."
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