And we’re entering one of the most exciting times in history, a time of unlimited possibilities, bounded only by the size of your imagination, the depth of your heart, and the character of your courage. More than two centuries of American history — the contributions of the millions of people who have come before us have been given to us as our birthright. All we can do to earn what we’ve received is to dream large dreams, to live lives of kindness, and to keep faith with the unfinished vision of the greatness and wonder of America.
President Ronald Reagan spoke to the nations school children before he left office in November of 1988. It was interesting that President Reagan referenced himself less than ten times including a quip about his age (It was two hundred years ago, I remember it well.) and devoted most of his speech to the greatness of America and used that as the spring board to encouraging the students to find the greatness in themselves. This is not a question of right and wrong. It is just an interesting exercise in different styles for a different generation. I do wish that we would once again teach Americanism and American exceptionalism to our children.