Today we once again celebrate our birthday as a nation. We celebrate the ideals upon which this country was founded. Among those rights that we consecrated when we announced our independence from England were, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We recognized that our rights are inalienable and that all men and women are created equal.
During our short history as a nation, we witnessed the harsh realities of slavery which denied rights to those who lived among us. We rid ourselves of that scourge but today there is a new form of slavery, poverty.
Poverty deprives us of liberty and the ability to pursue happiness. No American should work full time and be shackled by the pride depriving reality of being poor. There are far too many of our fellow citizens living in squalor despite working hard.
We can not claim to approach the goals of our founders by allowing poverty to continue for those who work but do not make enough money to have a life worth living.
Let us rededicate ourselves to be truly free and fulfill the promise that Thomas Jefferson so eloquently spoke of. Let us pledge to see to it that all Americans have the ability to enjoy the fruits of liberty, the joys of a life worth living and provide a living wage so that all Americans can truly pursue happiness.