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This patriotic speech by departing late-night host Craig Ferguson may bring you to your feet

"America is not only the greatest country on earth, but also the finest expression of hope for the human race."

(AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Craig Ferguson, host of CBS' "Late Late Show," announced Monday night he would be leaving at the end of the year, following news he would not be given the "Late Show" spot by departing host David Letterman. If you didn't watch the show -- or even if you did -- you might not know that Ferguson, originally from Scotland, became a U.S. citizen in 2008. And his public statements about America and its exceptionalism are powerful -- especially one speech in particular.

In a whirlwind January 2008 weekend, Ferguson became a U.S. citizen, got his pilot's license and watched the New York Giants defeat the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. Six months later, he found himself in Boston at Faneuil Hall giving a Fourth of July speech. It remains one of my favorite speeches about America.

"There is a new and bigger freedom in America," Ferguson said. "We believe all people are born equal, so the past, whatever that may be, does not have a stranglehold on the future."

He went on: "America is not only the greatest country on earth, but also the finest expression of hope for the human race. It is nothing less than that. Sooner or later, sooner or later, America always does the right thing."

He continued to talk about the power to "fire" our leaders, the honor of the military, his gratitude for his new country and why "being your best self" is the best expression of gratitude. It ended, unsurprisingly, with a standing ovation. Watch it all here:

One last thing…
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