President Biden encouraged the public to keep working toward a better America on Monday, saying in an address from the White House lawn that “there’s nothing guaranteed” about the future of democracy on a Fourth of July marred by the latest mass shooting.
“Each day, we’re reminded there’s nothing guaranteed about our democracy, nothing guaranteed about our way of life,” Biden said at an event for the families of members of the military. “We have to fight for it, defend it and earn it by voting.”
Biden said he remains optimistic for the future of the country despite the difficulties it is currently facing, including economic struggles and liberty “under assault at home and abroad.”
Six people were killed and more than 20 injured earlier Monday when a gunman struck an Independence Day parade in Highland Park, Ill. In a statement, Biden said federal law enforcement would assist in the ongoing manhunt and called for further efforts to rein in the scourge of gun violence.
In his White House address, the president said recent days may make people think that the country is moving in reverse and that certain rights are no longer protected, an apparent reference to the Supreme Court’s decision last month to overturn Roe v. Wade, which guaranteed a federal right to abortion.
“I know it can be exhausting and unsettling, but tonight, I want you to know that we’re going to get through all of this,” Biden said.
He noted reasons to have hope, including that people are “reclaiming” their way of life coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, and said that the U.S. economy remains the “strongest” in the world.
He said more people are starting businesses and graduating high school and college than at any time in America’s history.
Biden said the Fourth of July reminds the public what brought the country together and continues to unite it, pointing to the phrase “we the people,” the first words of the preamble to the Constitution.
“On this day, amid the storm and strife, may we commit ourselves to principled patriotism, to the large and complex mission to protect and make more perfect our union,” Biden said.