tv Museum of the American Revolution Opens in Philadelphia CSPAN August 28, 2017 8:22am-10:02am EDT
ladies and gentlemen, please recognize the color guards from each of the original 13 states as they are introduced in the order in which each state ratified the u.s. constitution and entered the union. delaware, first delaware regiment [ applause ] >> pennsylvania, first troop philadelphia city calvary. [ applause ] >> new jersey, old barracks museum. [ applause ] >> georgia, sons of the revolution in the state of georgia. [ applause ] >> connecticut, the governor's foot and horse guard. [ applause ] >> massachusetts, 54th
massachusetts volunteer regiment. [ applause ] >> maryland, maryland society sons of the american revolution. [ applause ] >> south carolina, south carolina national guard. [ applause ] >> new hampshire, first new hank shir regiment. >> virginia, the virginia color guard. new york, ninth new york field artillery, veteran core of the artillery of the state of new york. [ applause ] >> north carolina, the over mountain men. [ applause ] >> rhode island, united train of
[ applause ] >> members of our audience, will you please rides for the national anthem performed by curtis institute of music student, gentleman mjamez mccor. ♪ oh say can you see ♪ by the dawn's early light ♪ what so proudly we hailed ♪ at the twilight's last gleaming ♪ ♪ whose broad stripes and bright
our deepest thanks to the color guards of the original 13 states and to the color guard of the third u.s. infantry regiment, the old guard, as well as to the institute of music. what a wonderful start to a very momentous opening. [ applause ] >> this is the third part of our opening celebration. our program began this morning at the tomb of the unknown soldier of the american revolution in washington square where we honored those who sacrificed their lives to create our nation. our program continued in front of independence hall where we celebrated the future of that nait nation and the youth who are the legacy of the great and totally we are at the muse the american revolutions. we are celebrating not just the opening of the museum, but the people and the ideas of the
revolution and the great landmarks and the history of philadelphia. and we are grateful to the many faith leaders, the students and others who made this day possible. the museum we open today tells the story of the creation of the american nation, how people from all walks of life found a bond in the soaring ideals of equality, freedom, and self-governance had the who consecrated that bond by their courage and sacrifice through eight years of warfare. that bond is what turned them into the unified people of one nation and has done so for every generation since. this museum celebrates and belongs to the american people. there are many distinguished speakers with us on this joyful day and we will introduce them as they speak. we are grateful for their enthusiasm and their support and
we are pleased to welcome many additional special guests. the governor of the common wealth of virginia, the lieutenant govern nor the north carolina, dan forest, the lieutenant-governor the rhode island, dan mckee, the former governor the of delaware, michael castle, the former governor the new jersey, james florio, maryland, martin o'malley, and the former governor of the pennsylvania and our great city of philadelphia, edwin rendell. thank you for speaking as independence hall. [ applause ] >> i'm also pleased to recognize congressman kyle wear ritty for join s us and members of the city council of philadelphia, mark squil will, lessry russell wednesdayer and is her relevant parker. thank you. [ applause ] >> we are joined by our great
partner, the superintendent national historical park, cynthia mcleod. it is such a privilege which the architect of this great landmark new building robert a. stern and his associates join us. we're delighted you came. [ applause ] >> and we are also joined by the founder of intech construction who built this museum on time and on budget, will schwartz a new member of the board of the museum of the american revolution. we have guests from many places and we are -- we are so honored that leaders of museums and cultural institutions from across philadelphia are with us today. you are too numerous to support so raise your hands so that everyone knows you are here. thank you for turning out and
joining us and welcoming us as we proudly join your ranks as one of the great cultural institutions of this city. we're also joined by people from many other institutions, but probably no one is -- has come further or is more special to us than ellen chictans and her family from china and japan, the donors who have donated the two wonderful bronze sculptural panels on the chestnut side of the museum depicting washington crossing the delaware and the declaration of independence. thank you so much. [ applause ] >> there are leaders from many distinguished institutions from across the nation today, and i'm delighted to remembering nieds some of them. steve rockwood, ceo of family search international from salt lake city, utah.
lieu wise mere from president and koechlt of new york historic society. jack dwayne warren executive director of cincinnati. john bray, director of the smith sewn nan national museum of american history. anne turner dylan president general of the national society daughters of the american revolution. james vaughan, executive director of the pennsylvania historical and museum commission. stephanie see itbic, director of the smith son known american history, american art museum, robb shink, vice president of george washington's mount vernon. ruth taylor, executive director of the newport historical society, catherine robinson, president and ceo of historic charltz ton foundation. david row sell, the executive
director of withina ter museum garden and library. beth hill of for tying of new york, and betty joe of the delaware tribe of indians. [ applause ] >> and now i'd like to introduce the members of the board of directors of the museum of the american revolution. will you raise your hands so everyone knows where you are and that you are here today. [ applause ] >> these are the volunteers who have guided and sustained the multiyear initiative to create the museum. and now it is a very great pleasure to welcome the mayor of the great city of philadelphia, mayor jim kenney. [ applause ]
>> good morning, everyone. i can't tell you how proud i am as a native life-long philadelphiian to be standing here in front of this building and in front of all the great dig that terrys that have come here today. i just personally very much honored. it's fantastic to see so many of you out there helping us open this addition to our city's already thriving historic district. those looking to find out more about the founding of their country have made philadelphia a priority. the museum will bring those people back while giving those who haven't made yet the trip more incentive to did so. philadelphia is named the heritage city because it served as the backdrop for the formation of our country. this museum will provide greater insight into the sacrifices that were made in order to make the ideas that were first discussed in independence hall a reality. this museum will provide us with a much deeper appreciation of what it means to live free. and i think the most important
part of this museum for me as i've gone through it is it acknowledges fully and totally the contributions of other folks who made this country great, african-americans, native americans, women, and all others besides those who signed the declaration of independence. without all of them, this would never have happened and they are finally and fully acknowledged in this space and i think that's wonderful. [ applause ] >> and gerry lenfest, you're a great philadelphiian and a great american and i'm honored to know you. thank you very much and i'm glad to see you here today. thank you very much, everyone. [ applause ] >> thank you. please welcome the governor of
the common wealth of pennsylvania, tom wolf. [ applause ] >> thank you very much. mayor kenney, thank you for your comments. and it's great to be here and i want to welcome all of you who are from out of town to pennsylvania. i just want to point out that the weather is always like this in pennsylvania. again, i want to thank all of our distinguished guests for being here today but i especially want to welcome vice president joe biden. vice president. [ applause ] >> we are truly honored to have you here today since you began your career you have stood up for the middle class, for working people, for families and the interests of the less fortunate everywhere. your time in the senate and in the white house have made this country better and i just want to welcome you back home to
pennsylvania. [ applause ] >> i'm proud to be here to help commemorate the opening of the new museum, this museum of the american revolution that will act as a monument to the lives of those who created this great nation. there is no better home for this museum than in philadelphia, than in pennsylvania, am i right? [ applause ] >> because this museum tells the story of the women and the men who created this nation right here in philadelphia where this nation began. located with only -- within only a few blocks of the museum are a number of historic treasures that tell the story of how a loose band of cologne yalz toppled a mighty empire for two centuries from independence hall to the site of the liberty bell to the president's house, to congress hall, to the tomb of the unknown revolutionary war
soldier, all around us are reminders of the struggle that our founders undertook to create a nation dedicated to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. and now we have a museum solely dedicated for the first time to the lives and the sacrifice of those early americans who for far too long have gone nameless and uncommemorated. those who fought and struggled ultimately won our independence and deserve our respect. only a couple blocks away imbrazened on the tomb of the unknown soldier of the revolutionary war are the words freedom is a light for which many men and wenl have died in darkness. this museum will aim to turn the light on and tell the stories for those women and men and for people all over the world who have made this country what it is and who shocked the world 240 years ago by doing the impossible by defeating the
mighty empire. i can't think of a more fitting tribute to their memories and i'm glad pennsylvania will play home to this new treasure. i want to thank everyone who made this project a success and i want to thank michael quint who's been up here. can we give a round of applause to michael quint. [ applause ] >> michael will lead this museum to great success right here in philadelphia. thank you all for being here, thank you for helping us celebrate this great moment in american history. thank you. [ applause ] >> please welcome noted author and two-time recipient of the pulitzer prize, david
mccullough. [ applause ] >> what a morning. what a morning to be grateful we are americans. [ applause ] >> what a morning to celebrate our past and what that teaches us about how we should move forward into the days that come. the american revolution still goes on. the american revolution was one of the most important events of all time and very much of it happened right here in this great story city. it's not easy to understand the past because for one thing no one ever lived in the past. they lived in the present. but it was their present, not
ours. and we have to not only understand who they were, what they set out to achieve, how successful they may have been, but we have to understand the time in which they lived. we have to not only understand what they wrote, but what they read. because if we don't understand what they read, we won't understand why they said or wrote what they did. they were real people. history is human. when in the course of human events, human is the operative word. we can learn more from history than any other subject because it is about the human experience. and we can learn more about our country, our people, our past, our heart and soul as a
civilization by knowing more about the american revolution. we can never ever know enough about the american revolution. and the opening of this magnificent museum is not just a moment to celebrate here in philadelphia, but all over our country. this is a moment of national importance and cause to celebrate. [ applause ] >> one of the easiest, most obvious lessons of history is almost of consequence that has ever been accomplished alone. it's a joint effort. our country is a joint effort. this city is a joint effort. and this marvelous museum is a
joint effort. and i think we should pay tribute to all of those who worked for 16 years to make this happen and congratulations and god bless you. [ applause ] >> and no one deserves more credit than gerry lenfest. [ applause ] >> i think today we should all go away from this ceremony standing taller. because of who we are and what we've believed in, what we stand for, the values we still hold dear to us and this museum will do more to teach the oncoming
generations about the importance of the revolution, not just in the military sense, but in a sense of ideas and the human spirit that anything we've ever had. high time we had such a museum as this. [ applause ] >> history isn't just about politics and war. history is about art and music and architecture. architecture. and history's about poetry and about memory through the arts. we have a broadway show right now, a "ham mill ton". we have the work of john trumble. we have the architecture of that marvelous period and of now, bob stern's work right here. this is a major work of
architecture. [ applause ] >> this is april 19th, 2017. here's a poem from april 19th, 1837. 180 years ago written by ralph waldo emerson. by the road bridge that arched the flood, there flagged april's breeze unfurled. here once the embattled farmer stood and fired the shot heard round the world. the foe long since in silence slept, alike the concurer silence sleepd. in time and ruin bridge has swept down the dark stream which seaward creeps. on this green bank by this soft stream we set today a votive
stone that memory may there deed redeem, like our sires, sons are gone. spirit that made those heroes dear and die to leave their children free, bid time and nature gently spare, the shaft we raise to thee. spirit, spirit and perseverance. george washington once said to me it's one of the most powerful messages ever to all of us, per ver reince and spirit, perseverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages. [ applause ] >> please welcome oneida nation representative and ceo of indian
nation enterprises, ray ha halbritter. >> thank you for that kind introduction. it's truly an honor to follow one of america's greatest historians. i bring you greet lgz of pooez peace from the indian nation and our people began gatherings and have since time memorial with a thanksgiving address with these thoughts that we all come together in peace as one and we give thanks to what we have and our minds become as one. native members have traveled here to be part of this special day know that prayer well. we are so fortunate that together we could be here to celebrate the grand opening of such an important museum, one that recognizes the oneida's significant role in the establishment of the united
states of america. today say day of gratitude. the oneida nation is proud that our ancestors will be memorial liesed in the museum of the american revolution. we are thankful that such great american leaders like mayor kenney, governor wolf, former vice president joe biden are here with us today. gerry lenfest your determination and contributions kept the vision of the museum revolution in motion and for that we are forever thankful. at a time when we experience so much political -- it is gratifying to see leaders in organizations from all walks of life come together to honor our nation's founding. just as the thanksgiving prayer seds, this is also a day that gives my people great peace of mind because is it is the culmination of years of work to preserve, honor, and enshrine our historic role in the founding of this country. never forget the phrase we often here in history. the phrase implorz us to keep our heritage and -- few is
better than native americans and we are proud to be taking steps to make sure our role in this nation founding is remembered. and that the stories of our history are told and retold for generations to come. with today's opening of the national museum of the american revolution, we are rescuing the history of this country's birth and native americans role in it from the dark abyss of the memory chasm. as a proud supporter of this wonderful new facility, the united nations -- initiative because we believe that it is a critical facet of both preserving the history of the united states and honoring indigenous people's formative role in building this great country of ours. today, many americans have no knowledge of native american's role in the revolution but now they have a chance to hear the rich and compelling story of how our people reached across cultural lines and worked together with the founders and the unified fight for freedom. the history of my ancestors
pivotal coalition with those fighting british ter ranny began well before the founds came to the aid of the revolution. before the french it was the united people who became george washington's first allies at great sacrifice to us. it was the oneidas who took up arms in such their colonial neighbors early on considered by many hornz to be the bloodiest battle of the revolution. that battle cemented the longstanding friendship between the oneidas and the colonies and it made the oneidas the first allies of this country. our blood was mingle a -- blood, our bones were mixed with the bones of the patriots. to be sure it is tlulk this history has often been omitted from america's founding story, but those omissions only underscore the significance of this new facility and the moral imperative of the museum's mission. the museum makes sure that we are not sa coming to reduction ifl and not oversimplifying the
beginnings of america. it guarantees that the details are preserved and that all the stories of sacrificed are passed on to future generations as our grandmother's and grand fathers have admonished us to do so. preserving and teaching the true founding story of america is not an exercise in sel congratulations. it makes sure that in an increasingly diverse history accurately reflektsz the diversity of its foundational story. this is particularly important for people of color who too often are victims of historical revisionism, distortion and omission. native-american heritage for example has often been fik nal liesed or altogether omitted in ways that are both factually inaccurate -- appreciate their multicultural roots in history. making sure we preserve that multicultural story is not a radical or dangerous idea. more than two centuries after my
ancestors fought side by side with general george washington, our ancestors deserve their place in our collective memory about this country's founding. while their bodies died for our future we now ensure that their memories will not. in evekting this museum reare also protecting the longevity of the revolution's core ideals for -- to come. two centuries after the war, those notions remain as revolutionary as ever and an inspiration to the world. when my ancestors joined with the colonnists they were standing for these immutable ideals just as our country still stands in defense of those today. from the many one, in native american thanksgiving prayer, we have that similar verse, we bring our minds together as one and in the spirit of that prayer, let us give thanks today
for this museum and its work protecting the ideals of america and it's founding story. we're doing our part to make sure that the spirit of the american revolution endures and that the diverse roots of america's founding are inshrined for posterity. [ applause ] >> please welcome colonel john bircher, a recipient of the purple heart for combat service in vietnam and presenting the military order of the purple heart. [ applause ] >> thank you. it's such a great honor to be able to be here today. i want to thank general jumper
and mike, the -- mike quinn and especially vice president joe biden, what an honor it was to meet you today, mr. vice president. we miss you. [ applause ] >> i can see a show of hands how many of you in the audience are veterans? [ applause ] >> wow. i'm here today on behalf of a special group of veterans, the 1.7 million men and women who have either given their lives or have been wounded in combat serving to protect the freedoms that we've all come to take so much for granted. i can tell you that the cost of freedom is not free.
it's paid for in the blood of the sons and daughters, our mothers, fathers, sisters, and especially the spouses. general george washington at the end of the revolutionary war wanted to do something to recognize the fidelity and bravery of the common soldier, not officers, but rather the ncos and privates who served in the continental army. and so he created on the 7th of august, 1782, the very first declaration in the continental army called the badge of merit. it was a simple piece of purple cloth inscribed with the world merit on it. at first we thought there were only about four people who received it but our research in the archives has now shown that
we know of at least 27 men who received the badge of merit. but after the revolutionary war, it went into disuse and in 1932 then chief of staff of the army general macarthur wanted to do something to recognize the 200th birthday of george washington. and so he brought the badge of merit out of retirement and recreated it as the medal that i wear today. it's the same purple heart and on the back has the words for military merit. but on the face has the likeness of george washington to recognize all that he did in founding the country. as i mentioned, there have been 1.7 million recipients of the purple heart medal. every single veteran has served in sacrificed something, some gave all but all gave some. and so it's an honor for me to be able to be here on behalf of
>> please welcome the students of philadelphia's high school -- performing arts and the original cast member of the hit broadway musical "hamilton" sydney james harcourt. [ applause ] >> philadelphiay, how are you today? [ applause ] >> yeah. i can't tell you what a great day it is to celebrate the birth of our country every day is a great day to celebrate american
history. it's alive here in philly, it's everywhere. and it is my honor to be here for the opening of this gem in your city and in our country the museum of the american revolution. it's fantastic. [ applause ] >> yeah. long time coming. this next song is particularly relevant because of an exhibit inside this museum. as an actor, especially in a period play, you're always imagining your surroundings, what was it like, what did it sound like? were there doors? were there lights? so many little things. and i can't tell you how many years i've spent imagining washington's command tent. it's inside this building. that tent, seeing it in person, it was so moving.
it gave of this next song new meaning for me. it takes place on the eve of the battlefield roughly 1781, and david mccullough can correct me if i get anything wrong. and general washington was giving hamilton his first command and some sage advice. washington had the forethought to know that the actions they were taking were going to reverberate through history for hundreds if not thousands of years. he gave sage advice to hamilton about how to use this power. and i have to say that there may be no greater moment for me than to get to perform this song in front of our vice president who embodies the ideals that george
washington spoke about and i want to thank you for your service mr. joe biden. thank you, sir. [ applause ] >> this next song is called "history has its eyes on you". ♪ i was younger than you are now when i was given my first command ♪ ♪ i led my train into a massacre, i witnessed their deaths firsthand ♪ ♪ i made every mistake, i felt the shame rise in me ♪ ♪ and even now i lie awake, knowing history has eyes ♪
♪ history has its eyes on you >> every where you look, there is history reverberating, this is like a theme park for history. it is. everywhere you look. and in particular, alexander hamilton walked these streets. his buildings for the treasury office were right there. that's the first bank, and our next song, yeah, let's hear it for the first bank of america. we have a lot now. but our next song details how that bank got its charter. hamilton was obsessed as treasury secretary with getting a deck plan passed and paying for all the debt they incurred with the war, and the seven
democrat republicans were dead set that he would not pass it. and he had to -- do something he didn't really enjoy, but to make some trades to see what he could get done. never before i think has a song made passing a debt plan sexy and danceable, so it's got that going for it. it also happens to be the -- the platform and the impetus for aaron burr to jump into a political life. he was laying back at that time, and when he saw the kind of power that -- he wanted in. helping me, we have playing the role of hamilton, gracious and taylor. we have thomas jefferson is ra meek, and we have james madison as des zee.
this song is called the room where it happens ♪ mr. secretary. >> mr. burr sir ♪ ♪ did you hear the news about good old general mercy ♪ ♪ no snow the mercer legacy is secure ♪ sure ♪ to do is die ♪ that's a lot less work ♪ you ought to give it a try. now how you going to get your debt plan through ♪ ♪ i guess i'm going to have to finally listen to you ♪ ♪ really ♪ talk less ♪ smile more ♪ do whatever it takes to get my plan on the congress floor ♪ ♪ now madison and jefferson are merciless ♪ ♪ hate the sin of the sinner ♪ hamilton ♪ i'm sorry burr i got to go ♪ what ♪ decisions are happening over dinner ♪ ♪ immigrant walk into a room diametrically opposed ♪
♪ compromise pg opening doors that were previously closed ♪ ♪ the immigrant emerged to financial power a system he could shape however he wants ♪ ♪ the virginians emerge with the nation's capital and here's the resistance ♪ ♪ no one else was in the room where it happened ♪ ♪ where where it happened ♪ room where it happened ♪ no one else was in the room where it happened ♪ ♪ no one really knows how the game is played ♪ ♪ the art of the trade ♪ how the decisions get made ♪ we suft just assume that it happens ♪ ♪ but no one else is in the room where it happens ♪ ♪ thomas kellyanne snoemt alexander went to washington's doorstep one day ♪ ♪ thom of thomas clay ♪ i have nowhere else to turn snoemt ♪ ♪ and basically begged me to join ♪ ♪ tom mace kellyanne ♪ i said i hate you but let's hear what he has to say ♪ ♪ and i raised a meeting are i
raised the venue and the seating ♪ ♪ no one else was in the room where it happened ♪ ♪ the room where it happened ♪ the room where ♪ but don't knno one else is in the room when it happened ♪ ♪ meanwhile ♪ i'm fighting over where to put the capital. it isn't pretty ♪ ♪ when jefferson approaches with a pipe ♪ ♪ maybe we can solve one problem with another and win a victory for the southerners in other words ♪ ♪ quid pro quo ♪ wouldn't you like to work a little closer to home ♪ ♪ actually, i would ♪ and a prosele po -- and when i
was in the room where it happened ♪ ♪ the room where it happened ♪ no one else was in the room where it happened ♪ ♪ the room where it happened ♪ we never really know what got discussed ♪ ♪ click boom that it happened ♪ and no one else was in the room when it happened ♪ ♪ what is it taking you ♪ and washington and know about the dinner or presidential to deliver ♪ ♪ but i was there with hamilton and even then it doesn't matter where you put the u.s. capitol. we're in the same spot ♪ ♪ and i wanted what i got ♪ when you got to spin you stay in the game ♪ ♪ but you don't get a win unless you play in the game ♪ ♪ you get nothing and you wait for it ♪ ♪ god help and forgive me and i want to do something that's
going to out live me ♪ ♪ what do you want first ♪ what do you want ♪ in the room where it happened ♪ ♪ want to be in the room where it happens, the room where it happens ♪ ♪ i want to be in the room where it happens ♪ ♪ i want to be in the room where it happens, the room where it happened ♪ ♪ i want to be in the room where it happens, the room where it happens ♪ ♪ i want to be in the room where it happens, the room where it happens, the room where it happens ♪ ♪ don't you close your eyes ♪ who is going to be there to save the day ♪ ♪ really couldn't say what it was ♪ ♪ should we dream in for the most part ♪ ♪ i've got to be in the room
where it happens ♪ ♪ i've got to be in the -- i've got to be in the room where it happens ♪ ♪ and i've got to be in the room where it happens ♪ ♪ i've got to be in the room where it happens ♪ ♪ whoa ♪ [ applause ] thank you so much. guys. [ applause ] >> one time, let's hear it for the students. thank you so much. my pleasure. >> ladies and gentlemen, sidney james and the students of the high school for the creative and performing arts.
who tells your story. it's important that his story and that of the other heroins an heroes of the resolution be told, and of course, that's what we're celebrating here today. you know, there are many stories of bravery on the battlefield and the eight long years of the american resolution. but there are many other stories of people not in combat but in support of the cause, the cause of the idea that became america -- she had to brave diseases and the fore ranges to join the troops at camp not just the awful winner of valley forge, but every winter. and she did it despite her very strong desire to stay home and
tend to her duties in mount vernon. but she did it, because the general begged her to come. my friend david mc -- but he needed martha to do that and he understood that her -- she and her contrary of officers lives were absolutely essential to treat morale as they came and cooked for the soldiers and sold for the soldiers and prayed with the soldiers and nursed with the soldiers and put on big entertainments for them to keep them going through the long winters. i must say it was a good thing that martha was around, george could be a little indiscrete. it was the time he danced with three hours straight with the pretty katie green. it was good that martha was on hand, keeping up morale is particularly hard in the year
1780. the british were winning on the battlefield taking american cities. the french have not yet shown up. something had to be done for the soldiers. and one woman here in philadelphia, perhaps, on washington decided that she was the one to do it. ester reed understood that even as a woman in the 18th century, a woman with no political power and no legal power, married women cannot unproperly jewelry on their bodies belong to their husbands, that when you got skin in the game you stay in the game, but you don't get a win unless you play in the game. so she can, the sentiments of an american woman, newspapers up and down the coast. she called on the women of the country to make sacrifices for the army which to defend our
lives, our possessions and our liberty. now, had only been an american woman for ten years, she came here married to joseph reed, by 1780 was the president or the governor of pennsylvania. you might like to be governor. you know, it's a nice title. and it was -- she rode home to england saying i cannot say america was agreeable. soon she became an absolutely hardened patriot, as early as october of 1775. when war came and her husband joined george washington's forces. ester and her four little children found themselves refugees running from place to place to escape the british. her former countrymen and disease was rampant. the men came home just long enough. but with all of that hardship,
and i really think of it just getting through the day in the 18th century was very hard. she was not worried about herself, she was worried about the troops. so she organized. she became publicly active in a way that a good citizen should. she organized the lady's association of pennsylvania in which she was e lektdlected the leader. put together team's of women to go door to door around philadelphia and the suburbs and to collect money for the troops. and the publicity about it spurred women in other states to act as well. as the first lady of pennsylvania, she wrote to all the other first ladies in the states and asked them to start fund-raising drives for the troops, as well. in fact, the only letter of martha jeffersons that we have because thomas jefferson burned all of the letters, in which i could kill him, again.
it. >> the danger it presented. the uncertain out comes of agonizing decisions. >> in this museum, american people are on display and from the perspective of people, history is a predictment rather than a sequence of events to be glorified memorialized and made sacred. this is a living exhibit, a rendering of the nature of resolution times. and george washington's tent. we can imagine the tension he must have felt in making life that will go across the
continent and, indeed, the world. and when we see the shackles use to restrain and enslave child, perhaps like one of those used to restrain washington's own slaves. we are reminded that the new nation did not stand for freedom for all, the united states will soon come to hold the largest slave population in the history of the world and yet the revolution continued to inspire.
>> his answer. an inspiration to over throw the tyranny of his day, to side with the right against the wrong with the weak against the strong and with to pressed against to presser, he said. here lies of those revolutionaries and many that have followed. like douglas, most americans are not content with reassuring origin stories. we work now for the prospect of the better future with past levels our guide. we see the american revolution in its own historical present, we look not only on the grand jury of long debt heroes. we appreciate the efforts of common women, men and children of all sorts. their losses, as well as their victories and determination to turn those losses into lessons that will keep them fighting on.
taking this history of inspiration to make the united states the company retreat and meaning to be. i, for one, to a very fortunate that this museum is alive right now to show a way. >> mr. vice president, distinguished guest, jerry, marjorie and your family. the museum of american resolution honors the courage, the sacrifice, the toil and the blood of a generation who dared to fight for war for
independence. they did so in a quest to found a nation dedicated to those self evident, values and truths and all people are created equal and in a conviction that citizens of our nations could, can, and should cover themselves. now, 242 years after the first shot was fired at concord, the museum can begin its work as an institution that preserves the stories and inspires generations of young people to embrace the meeting of those troops. but as museum even as a new museum, we have our own story and own heroes who encouraged sacrifice made the day possible. it is both my pleasure and duty to thank and recognize them. first, our predecessor and sustained by many dedicated selfless people throughout the 20th century, thanks to them
with can present an unparalleled collection of artifacts presented in our museum. to the national park service, which gave up ownership within the independent national historical park so we can serve the millions who come here every year. to mr. robert stern, who designed this landmark building and the skill and trades men and workers who transformed the organization into a full grown institution, who have overseen the construction, who have conceived a remarkable exhibit program and symbol of phenomenal team of designers, and artist to bring this all to light for us.
>> you will see the major donors chiseled inside the wall here and inside the interest for the museum. our deepest thanks go to each and every one of them. today we reserve our deepest respect and for the one man most responsible for bringing us to this place on this day and that is jerry. . he's here with his wife. jerry became the founding chairman in 2005 and although relinquishing that official position last december. he will forever remain that singular selfless power, able to elevate the human spirit and inspired human endeavor. and to deliver this honoring the
nation's struggle for independence. it's a privilege to follow you and it's a privilege to recognize you for your selfless dedication. ladies and gentlemen, jerry. >> jerry just asked me to make a few comments on his behalf. although it took many years for the museum of the american resolution to be brought to this nation, it is finally here.
of one our nation's great public servants. you won an election to the senate six times and he was elected vice president twice. ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the 47th vice president of the united states of america, joe biden. >> thank you very much. it is -- you know, those of us who served in public office for some time are accustomed to say it's an honor to be here. but this is truly an honor to be invited to participate today and to follow such a distinguished speakers, and i mean that
sincerely, thank you. governor, it's a pleasure to see you again and mr. mayor, thank you for the pats court and to philadelphia and all of the distinguished guest. i was contemplating when i had the flattered and keynote and i will not be a long keynote, i was contemplating what i should talk about and i thought about what i think is a fundamental. what does this museum intended to stand for. is it we're founders of who live revolution who gave their lives for revolution. what were they attempting to do. what did they stand for. i think it's important that we answer that question because it's as relevant today as it was
then. to paraphrase, emerson's home, what did the people hear when they heard that shot heard around the world. what was it that they heard. what was this experiment about, was it just about independence, or revolution for independence. i think it was about an idea, how to give life to a renaissance idea that a country could actually be governed by its people, all of its people. it's wealthy people, it's poor people. it's people who can read and couldn't read, educated,
uneducated. the revolutionary notion of the consent of the government. it seems to me that's ultimately why they say america was an idea, the idea that people could govern themselves, not a monarchy, not a governmental system that conferred, power on the elite or the military, or only the educated. an idea that ordinary people could do extraordinary things, given half a chance. it truly was a revolutionary idea. an idea that both startled, at the same time, gave hope to the
rest of the world. it's an american idea that i still think gives hope to the rest of the world. i have traveled almost every country in the world. in the last 40 years i've met every major world leader without exception. why do they look at us the way they do. why are we still the most respected nation in the world. but all are faults and all of the mistakes we've made. our principals, our founders seems to me they asserted which
has been referenced already, again, what was a revolutionary idea, including the french revolution. we hold these truths self evident. we hold these troops self evident. there is nothing self evident about that assertion when it was made. all men are created equal, endowed by their creators. we initially asserted that our rates do not come from a government, they come from the mere fact that we're children of god. we exempt, therefore, we have these rights. we need not ask anyone, any of
the rights to possess. this new republic went on to -- would not be defined by single race or religion, but by those rights than to our founders were self evident and they thought self executed. but it took 13 years to give those assertive rights, 13 years to put these ideas into a document of governance, constitution. constitution that made our institutions the guarantor, not
the deliverer of, but the guarantor of these enailble rights. it was the vehicle that we constructed here in this city this would enshrine the principles we said, we believed it. and unlike any other nation in the world, that is no high per bl -- high per boly. unlike any other nation in the world, the united states is uniquely a product of our political institutions. you cannot define in america by race, ereligion, ethnicity. you can only find in america, why an intuitive commitment to
the notion that all men are created equal endowed by their creator. and guaranteed by that constitution. our constitution on our adherence to his principles are the reason why we remain the most respected emulated, revered nation in the world. [ applause ] i was criticized, totally justifiable criticism, about 12 years ago when i said in a major speech that -- not by -- that is
parent, and argue wise government knows what to overlook as well as to what look at. the politics today is pulling us apart at the seams. it's gotten worse. politics has become too negative, too nasty, too petty, to personal. partisans are not looked as opponents, but as enemies. we no longer just question judgment of our opponents, we spend more time questioning their motive, very presumptuous thing to do. i learned a lesson early on and
i do not want to go to the senate of an accident that occurred after when i was elected. a man named mike mansfield, a man who had more integrity that most people have in their whole body, came to me and said you owe it to your deceased wife and your child to be sworn in only 1,700, i think he said, 12 had ever been sworn in. come stay six months. as mike castle remembered, i didn't show up, i stayed in the hospital, changed my mind. when i went down and i got an assignment, i thought every freshman senator got an assignment, once a week i would show up in the majority leader's office to report on the assignment i was given.
it took me about three months to figure out all he was doing was checking my pulse to see how i was doing. one day at the end of may, following the tradition i had, which was what to walk through those double doors down the senate to check so i know which amtrak train i can take to get home to see my sons. and jessie was -- friend of mine to this day bob dole and one of my mentors, teddy kennedy, for the precursor, for the america's with disabilities act. he's talking about it's not government's obligation to care and deal with the handicap, et cetera. so i walked in and sat down for my meeting. and i guess i looked angry and he said, what's the matter, joe, he spoke and turned. i said, that jessie helms, and i
went on to basically say, he had no social redeeming value. i didn't understand how he could do what he was doing. he looked at me and said, joe what would you tell me if i told you that dot and jessie helps three years ago were really the observer in their hometown of north carolina. what would you say if i went and adopted that child? he said, i learned a long time ago, everyone has been sent here has been sent because their state found something good about them. it's your job to look for that. it's always appropriate to question the man and woman's judgment, but never their motive because you don't know it.
well, ladies and gentlemen all we do today is seem question motive. there's nothing beyond our capability, beyond our capacity, nothing. focus on that was referenced by a previous speaker. >> it's so different. it's so different. it's so similar in our aspirations. we have the christening, the constitution was to make those aspirations sing. history as demonstrated when we act as one america, we always do
well, no matter who is in charge. rich, poor, middle class, black, white, asian, hispanic, gay, transgender. those have been here generations and those who have only come recently. one america. even when it's not easy, which most of the time it's not, even when there are setbacks and attitudes. i always eventually stepped forward. we've always over come. but as martin o'malley, who i consider a great friend who is an incredible governor, he heard me say this before when he asked me to speak at fort mchenry's anniversary. i think we're the only country in the world with anthem,
national anthem that ends with a question. i don't think there's any other. i may be mistaken, i don't think there's any other anthem in the world that ends with a question, does that star spangle banner yet wave? that question in its implicit aspiration is echoed through every single per liss moment in america and helped us endured over the past two centuries. was it still waving in the midst, 200 years ago of fort mchenry. was it waving 50 years later as don's early light ripped apart by a civil war. was the waving on the beach of enormity and the mountains of korea and the jungles of vietnam, the streets of falluja and the kunar valley in
afghanistan. was it still wavy. was it wavy in over america when american stood on the moon, our first responders, ground zero. was it wavy when a weery president of gettisburg or a preacher of the dream at the lincoln memorial. was a wave over every embassy, every position, every shift, man, woman, to the service of american. every fire house, ballpark, town and city of this great nation and the front porches of my house and many of yours waiting for their return. you state the obvious, thus far the resounding answer is yes. and it will now and forever wave, but only be holding on to
it. because it's not the flag that we're waving, it's what lives within us. is it in our heart. do we really understand and mean what this museum is about to celebrate. and the heart of every american is the very idea of america. i don't even know it to articulate it that way. ask the average person when you leave here, go to lunch on the street corner, why do you have the right to do a, b, c or d. i'll tell you, because the constitution says i do and i've never even ever read the constitution.
folks, this is important, not monument, but reminder that we've got to fight every damn day to remind ourselves how we got to where we are. and don't ever think that there's ever anything self executing about democracy. we live in this museum and every movement of every child who is going to walk through this door and the hand of parrot and believes that he or she can do anything.