In a time when the United States is often the object of unfair or uninformed criticism from abroad, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard recently delivered touching praise of our country and its unparalleled legacy of freedom and ingenuity.
We can't reprint all of what she said during her well-received address to a joint session of the United States Congress, but here is just a bit:
"For my parents' generation, the defining image of America was the landing at Normandy. ... For my own generation, the defining image of America was the landing on the moon. My classmates and I were sent home from school to watch the great moment on television. I'll always remember thinking that day: Americans can do anything.
"Americans helped free the world of my parents' generation. Americans inspired the world of my own youth. I stand here and I see the same brave and free people today. I believe you can do anything still.
"There is a reason the world always looks to America. Your great dream - life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness - inspires us all."
We appreciate the prime minister's kind remarks, and we should strive both individually and as a nation to live up to our ideals.