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Happy July 4th!

I'm thankful for my country. Although we have many weaknesses and many unacknowledged failures, we also have strengths and virtues with which to face our challenges. I very much like President Obama's repeated use of the phrase "more perfect union," because it reminds us that every nation is in process, growing, developing, moving from one level of imperfection to another, maturing (over the long run) toward greater goodness. We are bound to one another - within nations and among nations. And not only that: we are bound to past and future generations, having received a multi-faceted heritage from our ancestors that we can enhance (or squander) for our descendants. Today, as fireworks explode and patriotic songs play, I hope we all can ponder our connectedness and rededicate ourselves to the ongoing work of perfecting and maturing our union.