Dear Brethren and Friends:
On this eve of our Nation's 236th Birthday, I give pause to recognize what this great experiment in freedom means.
Two hundred and thirty-six years ago when those first Patriots signed the Declaration of Independence and declared to the world that America was a free nation filled with a free people who were prepared to go forward and make their timeless imprint on history, the world took notice. How could this upstart survive in a world ruled by crowned heads that had the unlimited resources to bring destruction upon it and bring it back under the rule of colonialism?
As a man of faith and a Freemason, I believe that Divine Providence had a lot to do with it. The Founding Fathers, were going forth to begin a Nation in which everyone who was willing to take a chance can succeed. Freedom provides one with opportunity to venture forward, to grasp the gold ring, to dream, and to create. We profess to be children of God. How could God not lead this fledgling dream to become a Nation? We are His children, and we offer each and everyone of us, freedom to live and grow regardless of race or creed. "Love one another as I have loved you. . ."
Every American is provided with the opportunity to have an education. Using this gift to one's best potential is what makes the difference. Thanks to this reward of freedom, America has been the first in so many frontiers. The most classic and best example is the venture of Orville and Wilbur Wright. Who would think that one day this invention of flight would lead to our Star-Spangled Banner being planted upon the surface of the Moon?
Here everyone has a chance. It is up to the individual as to whether they choose to dream big enough to take their chance and pursue their dream. To the naysayers, who say that race or station can prevent a dream from coming true, all I can say is, "you've given up and given in" and that is not what being an American is all about.
Our 26th President and Masonic Brother, Theodore Roosevelt knew what it meant to be an American dreamer. A sickly child afflicted with asthma. He strengthened his body, improved not only his mind, but the work of his hands and his daring spirit. His 'big stick' announced to the world that we had arrived. We were a Nation with industry and determination and that we were going to be a leader in the world. We had survived a civil war. We reunited, we healed the hurts, we expanded our borders and our dreams. Can do, will do, is the spirit of America.
This Country thrives on the best production of the brightest creators, the biggest dreamers. Our Founding Fathers knew that. They may have never envisioned everything we've become, but they laid the foundation upon which the most wonderful house has been built. A house in which through every window a beautiful vista awaits the eyes to behold.
We are in the midst of some very uncertain times. There are those that will proclaim gloom and doom. There are those that feel we have ventured far from the path of the Founders, while some believe it is best if we do. This is why we are free to vote for our government. We, the people, make the choice and the majority rules. But, the majority is still the Brethren of the minority. We are one people, united and indivisible. Win or lose, we have each other's back. No one is left out or left behind, but by their own choosing. God has truly blessed America.
Songs have been written and sung proudly to let the world know who we are and we're about. We ask God to bless America, and as you venture this great nation, "from sea to shining sea," you might say, 'well, yes, God has indeed blessed America.' Let us never sway from His guiding light.
Many of us can trace our roots in this country back to only one or two generations. This 'lamp beside the golden door,' with all of its promise attracted so many to leave what they knew to come to a new world and begin a new life. Those that did, helped to create what we have today.
There are those that have entered this country in the less than proper way, and while we would not agree with that route, we understand their yearning for opportunity not only for themselves but for their children and grandchildren. America holds the promise. We don't need 'hope and change,' we represent that. We always have.
We've been challenged by evil. Those that choose to defy the glory of freedom. They learned in the most harsh manner that America means to survive. We will defend our people, our land and our freedom. We will also come to the aid of freedom loving neighbors around the globe. American blood has watered the soil of every Continent and was shed for the cause of freedom. We've never been a conqueror, we are defenders, we are protectors. But when we've been the victor, we've also been the compassionate friend to the defeated.
Happy Birthday America. Happy Birthday Freedom. Thank you for your opportunities and for your promise.
May God continue to bless America. May He also bless each and everyone of you and your families.
Sincere fraternal regards,
Steven A. Morrison, 33