It's always been my belief that by a divine plan this nation was placed between the two oceans to be sought out and found by those with a special brand of courage and love of freedom. . . . America is still a land of heroes with all the courage and love of freedom there ever was before. And that's our best hope for the future. . . .

We can salute the heroes of our technological age, like the four-man, one-woman crew of the Challenger. They dazzled America and the world with another perfect mission into the new frontier of space.

And how can we ignore the countless other examples of courage and love of neighbor from everyday Americans -- people like that grandmother in New York who collared a robber and gave him the back of her hand until the police arrived, people all across the country who've been battling angry spring floods and rising rivers so they could save the property and maybe the lives of their families and friends?

Don't let anyone tell us that America's best days are behind her, that the American spirit has been lost. I've never felt stronger than I do now that our people are coming together and that America is moving forward again. I've never been more convinced that fundamental problems of the economy, education and national defense are now being addressed and can be solved.

They will be solved if we believe in each other, and in those values that make us a great and loving people. . . . We work and educate for freedom, for service of the ideal of liberty, not for subservience to the state.