“Today, we celebrate our Independence Day.”

I would be remiss in my duties as a fan of Independence Day – the 1996 Will Smith vehicle and the national holiday – if I didn’t post Bill Pullman’s memorable speech, as President Thomas J. Whitmore, to an assembled group of fighter pilots and aviation enthusiasts preparing to launch a last-ditch, Rebel Alliance-esque assault on the genocidal alien invaders who serve as the film’s chief protagonists:

Full text below the break.

Good morning. In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world. And you will be launching the largest aerial battle in this history of mankind.

Mankind — that word should have new meaning for all of us today.
We can’t be consumed by our petty differences anymore.
We will be united in our common interests.

Perhaps its fate that today is the 4th of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom, not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution — but from annihilation.

We’re fighting for our right to live, to exist.

And should we win the day, the 4th of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day when the world declared in one voice: “We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive!”

Today, we celebrate our Independence Day!


Jamelle Bouie is a writer for Slate. He has also written for The Daily Beast, The American Prospect and The Nation. His work centers on politics, race, and the intersection of the two.

You can find him on Twitter, Flickr, and Instagram as jbouie.
  • Best freaking speech by a fake president EVER!lol. I dare say it’s even better than most speeches by actual presidents. I get the chills everytime.