Free

989 – Martin Luther King, Jr on the United States

“The nation is sick. Trouble is in the land. Confusion all around. … But I know, somehow, that only when it is dark enough, can you see the stars. And I see God working in this period of the twentieth century in a way that men, in some strange way, are responding — something is happening in our world. The masses of people are rising up. And wherever they are assembled today, … the cry is always the same — ‘We want to be free.'”

-Martin Luther King, Jr

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919 – Benét’s Prayer for The Common Man

“God of the free, we pledge our hearts and lives today to the cause of all free mankind.
Grant us victory over the tyrants who would enslave all free men and nations. Grant us faith and understanding to cherish all those who fight for freedom as if they were our brothers. Grant us brotherhood in hope and union, not only for the space of this bitter war, but for the days to come which shall and must unite all the children of earth.
Our earth is but a small star in the great universe. Yet of it we can make, if we choose, a planet unvexed by war, untroubled by hunger or fear, undivided by senseless distinctions of race, color or theory. Grant us that courage and foreseeing to begin this task today that our children and our children’s children may be proud of the name of man.
The spirit of man has awakened and the soul of man has gone forth. Grant us the wisdom and the vision to comprehend the greatness of man’s spirit, that suffers and endures so hugely for a goal beyond his own brief span. Grant us honor for our dead who died in the faith, honor for our living who work and strive for the faith, redemption and security for all captive lands and peoples. Grant us patience with the deluded and pity for the betrayed. And grant us the skill and valor that shall cleanse the world of oppression and the old base doctrine that the strong must eat the weak because they are strong.
Yet most of all grant us brotherhood, not only for this day but for all our years — a brotherhood not of words but of acts and deeds. We are all of us children of earth — grant us that simple knowledge. If our brothers are oppressed, then we are oppressed. If they hunger, we hunger. If their freedom is taken away, our freedom is not secure. Grant us a common faith that man shall know bread and peace — that he shall know justice and righteousness, freedom and security, an equal opportunity and an equal chance to do his best, not only in our own lands, but throughout the world. And in that faith let us march toward the clean world our hands can make.
Amen.”

-Stephen Vincent Benét

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892 – “I believe that it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures. I believe that we must assist free peoples to work out their own destinies in their own way.”

–Harry Truman, 33rd President of the United States of America

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867 – “No country can possibly move ahead, no free society can possibly be sustained, unless it has an educated citizenry whose qualities of mind and heart permit it to take part in the complicated and increasingly sophisticated decisions that pour not only upon the President and upon the Congress, but upon all the citizens who exercise the ultimate power.”

–John F Kennedy, 35th President of the United States of America (more…)

787 – “Liberty sets the mind free, fosters independence and unorthodox thinking and ideas. But it does not offer instant prosperity or happiness and wealth to everyone. This is something that politicians in particular must keep in mind.”

–Boris Yeltsin, 1st President of the Russian Federation
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697 – “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”

–Drafting Committee for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Draft Committee Members:
Eleanor Roosevelt (Chair), USA; Peng Chun Chang, Republic of China; Charles Habib Malik, Lebanon; William Roy Hodgson, Australia; Hernán Santa Cruz, Chile; René Cassin, France; Alexander E. Bogomolov, Soviet Union; Charles Dukes, UK; John Peters Humphrey, Canada
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