“Two hundred and thirty-three years ago, on this day, a band of courageous patriots representing the hearts and minds of the new world gave birth to our nation. Founded upon the sacred principles of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, an idea was born- one that has lit the world for over two centuries.
Today that idea lives on in us. It is seen every time an American flag is hoisted atop a building or planted firmly in the front yard of houses across the state. It is heard in this Chamber when a Senator stands to speak on behalf of his or her constituents. And it is demonstrated around the globe by the brave men and women of our armed services who have chosen to put themselves in harm's way to protect our country. We may celebrate this day with barbeques and fireworks and salutes to our flag, but it is about more than that. It is about all of us continuing the greatest and most successful experiment in
democracy the world has ever known.
Our Declaration was signed by 56 members of the Continental Congress, including four New Yorkers. Two of whom went on to become members of this body, the New York State Senate- Senator Philip Livingston and Senator William Floyd.
We would like to thank those who came before us, thank those who are fighting for us, and encourage those who will come after us to continue this pursuit of the rights that have made America the model of democracy we honor today.”