We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name and by the authority of the good people of these colonies solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states; ….
….And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.
“Whether this liberty will prove a blessing or a curse will depend upon the use our people make of the blessings which God hath bestowed on us. If they are wise, they will be great and happy. If they are of a contrary character, they will be miserable. Righteousness alone can exalt them as a nation. Reader! Whoever thou art, remember this; and in thy sphere practice virtue thyself, and encourage it in others.”
– Patrick Henry
“Posterity: you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it.”
– John Quincy Adams
“For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.”