It might be seen by what tenure men held the earth. The smallest stream is mediterranean sea, a smaller ocean creek within the land, where men may steer by their farm bounds and cottage lights. For my own part, but for the geographers, I should hardly have known how large a portion of our globe is water, my life has chiefly passed within so deep a cove. Yet I have sometimes ventured as far as to the mouth of my Snug Harbor.
We get twitted now and then on how we made this country. Well, we took the whole business, of course. It's not just that corner that we took from Mexico. When we got it all together, we got a very shapely country-the best continental cut in all the world, between the two oceans and in the right temperature zone.
The ocean is the grand vehicle of trade, and the uniter of distant nations. To us it is peculiarly kind, not only as it wafts into our ports the harvests of every climate, and renders our island the centre of traffic, but also as it secures us from foreign invasion by a sort of impregnable intrenchment.
Some men of a secluded and studious life, have sent forth from their closet or their cloister, rays of intellectual light that have agitated courts, and revolutionized kingdoms; like the moon, that far removed from the ocean, and shining upon it with a serene and sober light, is the chief cause of all those ebbings and flowings which incessantly disturb that world of waters.
It is to labor, and to labor only, that man owes everything possessed of exchangeable value. Labor is the talisman that has raised him from the condition of the savage: that has changed the desert and the forest into cultivated fields; that has covered the earth with cities, and the ocean with ships; that has given us plenty, comfort, and elegance, instead of want, misery, and barbarism.
Earth Day is the first holy day which transcends all national borders, yet preserves all geographical integrities, spans mountains and oceans and time belts, and yet brings people all over the world into one resonating accord, is devoted to the preservation of the harmony in nature and yet draws upon the triumphs of technology, the measurement of time, and instantaneous communication through space.