MADISON, ME—Admitting that the cherished property had recently become a burden, the nation’s 317 million citizens announced Thursday that as much as they loved the old place, it was time for them to sell the lake house.

The beloved two-story house up on Wesserunsett Lake, where the American people used to go every summer since before any of them could remember, has reportedly been falling apart for years now, requiring extensive maintenance and forcing the nation to concede that keeping the residence simply no longer makes financial sense.

“That lake house is where I grew up—I guess it’s where we all grew up,” said Arthur Pollis, 41, recalling how, every June, the nation would pile into the old van and ride up I-95 to the lake house together. “But if we’re being honest with ourselves, we hardly use the place as often as we used to, and the taxes are just too much now.”

According to the U.S. populace, the lake house was the site of some of their most cherished memories, such as the way all 317 million of them would excitedly rush upstairs to claim rooms at the start of the summer, the night when the whole nation got a little too drunk and someone broke the screen door, the time Pete dropped the steaks, and how the dog always used to run out of the lake, shake herself off, and get the American people soaking wet.

Nevertheless, Americans across the country acknowledged the reality that the place needed a great deal of repairs, and that they were simply a busier nation now than when they were younger.

“Of course the house means a hell of a lot to us. I mean, it’s where some of us lost our virginity—I know we’ll never forget that,” said Allie Carpenter, 34, who mentioned the summer evenings when the nation used to sit side-by-side along the pier, dangling their feet into the water. “Still, the fact is that it’s getting to be more of a hassle than it’s worth. This year we came back to find the pipes had burst over the winter, and there was a bat living in the upstairs hallway. It’s that stuff that starts to wear you down.”

“It is pretty sad to think we’ll never use that rope swing again, though,” she continued. “I remember when Cathy [Meyer of Boulder, CO], Arthur [Johnson of Montgomery, AL], Linda [Taylor of Kenosha, WI], Juan [Sanchez of St. Petersburg, FL], Kelly [Norris of High Point, NC], John [Krasinski of Los Angeles, CA], Sarah [Morgan of Hammond, IN], Dawn [Peterson of Renton, WA], Victor [Wallace of Flagstaff, AZ] Stephen [Wagner of Tulare, CA], Samantha [Duncan of Omaha, NE], Stacey [Bradley of Lubbock, TX], and Tony [Schmidt of Clarksville, TN] were always afraid to use that swing, but then one day they finally did it and we were all so proud. God, I’m going to miss stuff like that.”

The American people acknowledged that not all of their memories of the lake house were fond ones, recalling when Connecticut’s population and South Carolina’s population got into a huge fight about politics at dinner, the time the dog got lost for two days and then turned up with a broken leg, Grandpa’s heart attack, and when the nation fell on the sharp rocks near the shore and had to get 814 million stitches.

The entire country confided to reporters that perhaps what they would miss most about the lake house were the times they’d spontaneously decide to spend a weekend there in October as it was getting cold, or even head up for a day in the middle of winter to look out across the frozen water and think to themselves in solitude.

“It can be so quiet and beautiful out there,” said Douglas Mooney, 46. “Just the stars in the sky and millions of us huddled around the warm, crackling fire. Sometimes it would seem like we were the only ones around for hundreds of miles.”

While the nation confirmed that they always dreamed of passing the lake house down to the next generation of American citizens, the U.S. populace conceded that selling the place was certainly the prudent thing to do.

At press time, the nation suggested that when the kids get a little older they might go in on a time-share down in Myrtle Beach.