The true greatness of America lies in the values we share as a nation. From America's beginning we shared a passionate concern for the rights and the well-being of each individual. That was a concern stated powerfully in our founding documents: the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. From the images shown, we learn not only to tolerate others, whose appearance, religion, and culture are different from our own, but to respect and welcome them. We must recognize and appreciate our diversity as a source of great strength. From our faith and sense of community, we gain a better understanding of why these photographs deliver the importance of fairness and compassion for the less fortunate.
In the same way that parents try to build a better life for their children, each generation of Americans has tried to leave a legacy of a more just, and society for the next generation to improve upon.
It is well known that throughout our history there were periods when serious injustices were tolerated. Those dark periods in our national history have taught us lessons we must never forget. We have battled fiercely to overcome injustice, and we are a better nation for our willingness to fight those battles.
Our most deeply held national values are rooted in our pursuit of justice for all. It urges us to ensure fair treatment for each person, to extend help to those in need, and to create opportunity for each individual to advance. Those are among the most important yardsticks by which we measure our success in building "A more perfect union".
As we consider the outlook of war with Iraq, many of us question whether national policy reflects America's values. Realistically, the brave men and women of the American armed forces must...