Richer than all the glorious traditions with which America is resplendent is its love for the great outdoors.
This month — America answers the call and from office, workshop, fields and home, men, women and children begin the long journey. On foot, in automobiles, in boats or canoe, on mountain top and beside a flowing stream, millions rush out to live with nature once more.
Once again laughter and sunshine comes into the human breast and a nation goes to play.
For this is America … this is its common touch. It is this that makes it a child among the nations, ever youthful, ever vigorous, ever strong.
For here in the great open expanse of fields and plain, here beside the stream, here under tall tree, America finds itself and its purpose. Here America learns patience, understanding and strength.
There are those who are going out whose souls are sick, whose hearts ache, who are weary from the struggle and untiring strife of life and all its problems. Here in the great open they will find the answer; here they will find the peace that will heal once more and help them go back and take their place in line.
Here they will find a rest from the worry of everyday business cares — and at the same time a change of air and scenery. Here they will find health and happiness. For what has man gained by toil or stealth when he has lost life's blessings, health and happiness.
Here, in the outdoors, anger and envy and all of the millions of little hates that infest our fiber. Here they disappear. Here they vanish under the golden glow of a sunset. Here they are gone and in their place come peace and joy.
For this is America. It is this which the world has come to accept as distinctly our own, and just so long as America continues to go outdoors, just so long will this strength and peace be hers.
Let us cherish it! Let us keep it and live it and then pass it on to those who come after us so that they, too, may know what we have known and share in the splendor which is ours, today!
To keep these open spaces, to preserve the beautiful song of the birds in the trees, to keep this laughter, this youth for America, so that it may know it always, that is your responsibility and my responsibility and the responsibility of all Americans. For it is these golden moments in the outdoors that help us to go on.
All science, all poetry, all art — everything that makes us what we are and helps us climb a little closer to the goal of perfection — all of these are born in the great outdoors, and it is here that they find their rich inspiration.
Let us all enjoy the grandeur of the night, watching the rising moon and the formation of a few fleecy clouds while alternately listening to the magnificent chorus of the frogs, the carol of the birds and the gentle lapping of the water on the rock.
“The twinkling stars are laughing, love,
Laughing at you and me.”
When all the world is filled with industry and enterprise, and when every inch is crowded with towering structures of steel, let there be room here in America for the world to play! Let there be trees and grass and flowers and birds and scurrying animals! Let these all live and keep it so for ever and ever after.
“God is its author, and not man; He laid
The keynote of all harmonies; He planned
All perfect combinations, and He made
Us so that we could hear and understand.”
God bless America!