Remember when we had U.S. presidents who were thoughtful and intelligent enough to actually quote? Those were the days. Even if we disagreed with their politics, most of us could find at least some redeemable quality about either their character or brains to assign them a degree of respect. Ah, those were simper times. But regardless of who is currently sitting in the Oval Office (cough, cough), we have a great country and a rich history that deserves to be celebrated. This 4th of July we need that reminder more than ever, and there's nothing like inspirational quotes from presidents past to make us proud to be an American once again.
These words might be simply for your private contemplation, or maybe they'll make an appearance in your festive 4th of July decorations. But whether your holiday plans include attending a parade, hosting a neighborhood backyard barbecue, or something else entirely, the following quotes will remind you that the legacy of the White House is really a pretty good one — imperfect, yes, but something to be grateful for nonetheless.
And, hey, let's look on the bright side: Pretty soon it'll be time to vote someone new into the seat. Preferably someone whom we can quote again.
George W. Bush
Recognizing and confronting our history is important. Transcending our history is essential. We are not limited by what we have done, or what we have left undone. We are limited only by what we are willing to do."
It is not the critic who counts, nor the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows great enthusiasms, great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."