By Robert E. Macdonald
Mayor of Lewiston
This week we celebrate the birth of our great country. A country blessed and guided by Divine Providence, who provides our people, people bearing the designation of American, unbridled freedom to pursue one’s dreams.
Unlike many countries, status and rank does not guarantee success. Instead Providence experimented and created a nation where a dream, hard work and desire enabled her citizens the ability to ascend the social ladder from dire poverty, upward to success and the heights of distinction, importance, fame and wealth.
Providence further blessed our land with boundless beauty from sea to shining sea. Beautiful coastlines where waves crashing ashore symbolize not only our strength, but a calming way of life. Golden prairies that appear limitless as they extend to the horizon, symbolizing the unlimited opportunities offered by our land.
The majestic mountains rising powerfully to the heavens and watching over our land, symbolizing the peace and tranquility that is America.
In the beginning, the nobility and adventurers from Europe came to our continent in search of riches that could be stripped from our land and sent back to a gluttonous monarchy eager to enhance its status in the known world.
Later Pilgrims came seeking a place where they could practice their religious beliefs, freely, with no interference from the state.
During the next 150 years, 13 thriving colonies were created, offering the populace unlimited opportunities to rise socially.
Like the Israelites wondering in the desert, we abandoned Providence. Fortunately we were brought back to the fold during a religious revival known as The Great Awakening. This served as a spark, starting our journey towards independence by fostering an excellent communication system among the colonies. This, coupled with the French and Indian War, where the myth of the indestructible English army was exposed, started us on our way to independence.
Edicts from King George III creating new taxes, the quartering (housing) of soldiers in one’s house, the banning of town meetings, corrupt judges and colonial officials appointed by the King sparked our forefathers to become naughty boys. The hanging of public officials in effigy, tea parties, refusal to pay taxes and smuggling resulted in open rebellion breaking out, starting us on the road to independence.
Declaring, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” on July 4, 1775 a new country was born—the United States of America.
From conflagration rose a breed of men and ideas that formed our great country. Guidance by Divine Providence enabled the United States to become a destination for those who craved freedom from tyranny and success through hard work.
The men that founded our country were roundly educated. Their classical educations prepared and gave them insight and a grasp of history. This prepared and afforded them the ability to create a country, which since its inception is unmatched anywhere in the world.
Most of our founding fathers, with exceptions, answered the call of civic duty and patriotism, leaving their homes and families for months on end in order to create a country in which her citizens would be able to live a fruitful life. A life of success. A life that, through hard work, enabled a person to rise to a status of fame and fortune, not locking you into a social category from which there was no escape.
Many of our founders had large egos. Yet, they were able to put their differences aside, creating legislation that benefited all. George Washington on two occasions could have become the supreme ruler of the land, but held true to the principles of the Revolution.
During this coming weekend let’s all put our differences aside. Let us reflect on our blessings. Let us be reminded that we are one nation, one people being guided through the storms of life by Divine Providence.
Happy 237th Birthday, America.