Spirit of America Stronger than Ever!
Commissioner Tommy Adkisson
July 4, 2002

A little less than a year ago, our Nation was tested in ways we found abhorrent to even think about much less experience.  We babyboomers have grown up with our World War II parents and the media regularly reminding us of Pearl Harbor.  Some of our number saw the harshness of war in Viet Nam.

Students of the Civil War study the roughly 600,000 men lost in our nation's only internal war.  Pickett's charge saw thousands die within an hour or less.  The horror of war is described in quotes from the Civil War.

"No tongue can tell, no mind conceive, no pen portray the horrible sights I witnessed this morning."  -Captain John Taggert, 9th Pennsylvania Reserves, Sept. 17, 1862.

"It is all over now. Many of us are prisoners, many are dead, many wounded, bleeding and dying. Your soldier lives and mourns and but for you, my darling, he would rather be back there with his dead, to sleep for all time in an unknown grave." -Major General George Pickett, CSA, to his fiancée, July 4, 1863.

Fast forward to "9-11", the time that most lives on in our minds in America today.  This was not a conventional attack outside of our country like Pearl Harbor.  This was on not only American ground, but right smack in the center of New York City!  Right into one of America's symbols of our preeminent power.

What are we to do today?  Move and move fast?  Delude ourselves into thinking that nothing like that could ever happen again?  Live in constant fear of being a victim of some similar deed that reaches those of us who merely witnessed the attack on the World Trade Center on TV? 

May I humbly suggest that as we approach this Fourth of July, that each and every one of us resolve to have a great 4th!  That we resolve further that we do everything as Americans to build and maintain the core of any great country: strong families and communities.  And as President Abraham Lincoln so eloquently said in his Gettysburg Address: "that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under god, shall have a new birth of freedom; government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth."

Let's continue the miracle and blessing of America, every day of the year!

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