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Biden’s Big Speech Had Us All Thinking About Independence Day in a Good Way

Let's do this!

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 11: U.S. President Joe Biden speaks as he gives a primetime address to the nation from the East Room of the White House March 11, 2021 in Washington, DC. President Biden gave the address to mark the one-year anniversary of the shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Last night, hours after signing the American Rescue Plan into law (no thanks to any Republicans!) Joe Biden addressed the nation. Biden’s speech provided not only a chance to come together once more to collectively grieve the incredible loss and struggle we’ve faced in the past year, but to also offer real hope. While President Biden said that “beating this virus and getting back to normal depends on national unity,” he also stressed that this was a war we could win, with a victory that we could celebrate on a very specific day: Independence Day.

“If we do all this, if we do our part, if we do this together, by July the 4, there’s a good chance you, your families and friends, will be able to get together in your backyard or in your neighborhood and have a cookout or a barbecue and celebrate Independence Day,” Biden said, while also noting: “That doesn’t mean large events with lots of people together, but it does mean small groups will be able to get together.”

The image of a President speaking to a wounded nation, offering compassion, hope, and inspiring us to keep going was seriously inspiring. And Biden promised that we’ll fight for our “Independence Day” as he said: “After this long hard year, that will make this Independence Day something truly special, where we not only mark our independence as a nation, but we begin to mark our independence from this virus.”

And that got a lot of us on social media thinking of another great President that inspired America to hope in one of her darkest hours …

No, not George Washington or Abe Lincoln. I’m talking about President Thomas J. Whitmore, as played by Bill Pullman in 1996’s Independence Day.

And you know what, let’s just refresh our memories here, because we could all use a bit more inspiration. And it’s kind of easy to imagine that Pullman is talking about COVID and not, you know, aliens.

But as Biden and Pullman’s character both made clear, this isn’t a battle that’s won yet. It’s not a given that this July 4th will mark our “independence” from COVID. We have to work together to do this. “On July 4, with your loved ones, is the goal,” Biden told us. “A lot can happen. Conditions can change.” The President promised that all adults will be eligible for the vaccine by May 1st. But still, people need to get those vaccines into their arms and we still have to be vigilant and careful.

“I need you, the American people. I need you. I need every American to do their part. And that’s not hyperbole. I need you. I need you to get vaccinated when it’s your turn and when you can find an opportunity,” Biden said. “And to help your family, your friends, your neighbors get vaccinated as well.”

So keep wearing your mask and washing your hands! Get your vaccine and help others do the same! It’s what Presidents Biden and Whitmore want us to do! Do it so that we can have a 25th-anniversary celebration of Independence Day on the front lawn of the White House, complete with Pullman recreating the speech and Will Smith punching a model of the coronavirus, declaring, “Welcome to Earth!”

We can do this, especially now that we have a President that cares about people’s lives. Let’s make it through this final stretch so we can celebrate the good kind of Independence Day … and hopefully not Independence Day: Resurgence.

(via:, image: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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Jessica Mason (she/her) is a writer based in Portland, Oregon with a focus on fandom, queer representation, and amazing women in film and television. She's a trained lawyer and opera singer as well as a mom and author.