In the spirit of freedom, I leave you with a very famous scene from one of my favorite fictional American presidents, Bill Pullman as President Thomas J. Whitmore in Independence Day. This movie is on the list of films that shaped my childhood. I watched it every damn time it came on the movie channels. I still watch if I can catch it. This monologue still gives me frisson after all these years.
Harrison Ford is in the top three as President James Marshall in Air Force One.
I’d have to think a little harder about a third one. So I guess my list of favorite fictional American presidents is two.
Good morning. In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world. And you will be launching the largest aerial battle in the history of mankind.
Mankind — that word should have new meaning for all of us today.
We can’t be consumed by our petty differences anymore.
We will be united in our common interests.
Perhaps its fate that today is the 4th of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom, not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution — but from annihilation.
We’re fighting for our right to live, to exist.
And should we win the day, the 4th of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day when the world declared in one voice:
“We will not go quietly into the night!
We will not vanish without a fight!
We’re going to live on!
We’re going to survive!”
Today, we celebrate our Independence Day!