Thank you, America

There is a jubilee feeling around our office as this particular Fourth of July approaches, and every reader owns a share in it. As a newspaper published in the United States - and full of new beginnings in its 75th year - The Christian Science Monitor has special cause to celebrate what its founder called ''the joy, grace, and glory of liberty.''

As an international newspaper, the Monitor has special cause to remember how far America's founders cast their gaze:

''Our cause is the cause of all mankind,'' said Benjamin Franklin.

''I was acting for the benefit of the whole world,'' said Benjamin Rush.

In the third century since then, no Independence Day would be complete without some Americans reminding other Americans that the founders' ideals of freedom and justice have not been achieved for every citizen. That the ''candle to all the world'' lighted by America has been known to flicker in the draft of America's own policies.

Neither would any Fourth of July be complete without the pops and fizzles of nationalistic rhetoric contrasting with what a later statesman called for: ''a patriotism which is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime . . . [for] it is often easier to fight for principles than to live up to them.''

In this light, love of country embraces love of a land - but also love of an inner, liberating sense of the best hopes of a nation and thus, most fundamentally, of an individual or of the world.

It goes back at least to the the Old Testament's trumpet of jubilee to ''proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.''

You don't have to be an American to send up Roman candles to freedom. Young America's colonial oppressor, Britain, takes second place to no one as a bastion of liberty. As we at the Monitor can testify - printing our international edition in London, distributing it in various countries - freedom of the press, for example, is not confined to the United States.

Yet, on this American holiday weekend in our own year of celebration, this daily newspaper published by a church has to give an extra wave to the old red-white-and-blue. A grateful salute to the nation whose freedom of expression, whose freedom of religion, have granted us an extraordinary home.

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