By David Anderson, cheerleader, Tillicum Woodbrook Neighborhood Association
I’ve a book in my library entitled “Our Sacred Honor” by William J. Bennett. As I opened it this Memorial Day morning there fell out a newspaper clipping – an article by George Will dated July 4, 2008 entitled “The birth of the nation was more than a one-day delivery.”
Will asks, ‘When was our nation born?’
“The evidence is murky,” Will observes, that July 4, 1776 was our “originative moment” as in whether in fact the Declaration of Independence was “signed that day by the 56 persons whose signatures would eventually adorn it.”
“What Congress actually did that day was agree to print and publish the Declaration authorized two days earlier.”
So was July 2 our nation’s birthday, per John Adams who thought that day “will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America”?
But what was voted on July 2, writes Will, was really decided on July 1. And, “the Declaration was first actually declared – read aloud to a crowd (at the State House, now Independence Hall) – on July 8.”
As a parchment unrolled was our nation given birth so what shall we then say of the Bermuda castaways, Jamestown survivors, Mayflower pilgrims – their perspiration that engenders inspiration these four centuries later?
Whereas our birthdays are celebrated on a specific date each year, the location of birth and even the time to the exact minute recorded that declares the official beginning of our on-earth visible existence, not so our nation. It was a process. A long one. And costly. And everyone – everyone – who prepared the way for the birth of our nation and who continues to this day to uphold the values that brought her about – can officially, proudly, wave the red, white and blue.
America after all is a patchwork, a quilt, woven and pieced together by the countless contributions of the famous and the unknown, all with an integral task to perform, all instrumental to the final product which is never really finished as, with most any fabric, a single thread come undone can prove its undoing.
That’s why in our tiny one-square mile of a community we have the philosophy that everyone – everyone – “wherever they find themselves within society – rich, poor, or middle class – and with whatever gifts or talents they have been given – they could and should unite their energies with those of their fellow citizens and follow through on their duty to work toward making the good society . . . .” (“Hero for Humanity – A Biography of William Wilberforce” 1759-1833 by Kevin Belmonte).
It’s more than something we print on our letterhead. It’s our lifeblood.
And it’s why we continue to battle – for principle, from our pocketbook, and on behalf of the people who call this neighborhood home – and where you can help by casting your vote here.