had a vision of America.
It was formed in the Navy,
then as a prisoner in Vietnam.
He was a
controversial senator and presidential candidate.
But he fought for his ideas in his final public statement.
These are his words:
“Fellow Americans, that association has meant more to me than any other...
We are citizens of the world's greatest republic.
A nation of ideals, not blood and soil.
We are blessed and a blessing to humanity when we uphold and advance those ideals at home and in the world.
We have helped liberate
more people from tyranny and poverty than ever before in history...
We weaken our greatness when we confuse our patriotism with rivalries that have sown resentment and hatred and violence in all the corners of the globe.
We weaken it when we hide behind walls rather than tear them down...
...when we doubt the power of our ideals rather than trust them to be the great force for change they have always been.
We argue and compete and sometimes even
vilify each other in our raucous public debates.
But, we have always had so much more in common with each other than in disagreement.
If only we remember that and give each other the benefit of the presumption that we all love our country, we'll get through these challenging times.
We will come through them stronger than before.
We always do...
Do not despair of our present difficulties, we believe always in the promise and greatness of America because nothing is inevitable here.
Americans never quit, we never surrender, we never hide from history, we make history.
Farewell fellow Americans.
God bless you and god bless America.”