Today’s Independence Day marks the 243rd birthday of the USA – so in celebration of the holiday, we’ve gathered 21 inspirational quotes on the essence of liberty, freedom, justice, and independence.

1. “It does not take a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.” –Samuel Adams

2. “Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide.” –Napoleon Bonaparte

3.Without freedom I am a slave in shackles on a ship lost at sea. With freedom I am a captain; I am a pirate; I am an admiral; I am a scout; I am the eagle souring overhead; I am the north star guiding a crew; I am the ship itself; I am whatever I choose to be.” ―Richelle E. Goodrich

4. “Patriotism is a thing difficult to put into words. It is neither precisely an emotion nor an opinion, nor a mandate, but a state of mind – a reflection of our own personal sense of worth, and respect for our roots. Love of country plays a part, but it’s not merely love. Neither is it pride, although pride too is one of the ingredients. Patriotism is a commitment to what is best inside us all. And it’s a recognition of that wondrous common essence in our greater surroundings.” ―Vera Nazarian

5. “This, then, is the state of the union: free and restless, growing and full of hope. So it was in the beginning. So it shall always be, while God is willing, and we are strong enough to keep the faith.” –Lyndon B. Johnson

6. “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” –Ronald Regan

7. “In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline.” –Martin Luther King Jr.

8. “Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.” –George Bernard Shaw

9. “May we think of freedom not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right.” –Peter Marshall

10. “The history of free men is never really written by chance, but by choice; their choice!” –President Dwight D. Eisenhower

11. “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” –Nelson Mandela.

12. “The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.” –Albert Camus

13. “For what avail the plough or sail, or land or life, if freedom fail?” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

14. “I believe in America because we have great dreams, and because we have the opportunity to make those dreams come true.” –Wendell L. Wilkie

15. “Liberty is a constant battle between government; who would limit it, people; who would concede it, and patriots; who would defend it.” ―Samuel R. Young Jr.

16. “Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.” –Thomas Paine

17. “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” –Voltaire

18. “We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.” –William Faulkner

19. “Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all! By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall.” –John Dickinson

20. “All honor to Jefferson – to the man who, in the concrete pressure of a struggle for national independence by a single people, had the coolness, forecast, and capacity to introduce into a merely revolutionary document, an abstract truth, applicable to all men and all times, and so to embalm it there, that today, and in all coming days, it shall be a rebuke and a stumbling-block to the very harbingers of re-appearing tyranny and oppression.” –Abraham Lincoln

21. “Listen to me, there is freedom in love. Every day should feel like independence day.” ―Evy Michaels

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