2017 is drawing to a close, a time to reflect upon the nature of our great nation, one that was born 235 years ago so that we could “assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of nature and of Nature’s God entitle them”, because “We hold
these truths to be selfevident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. These words, from our Declaration of Independence “brought fourth upon this continent a new nation”, one that is unique in origin and character and exceptional by virtue of its people, are as true today as they were then.
So much of America is represented in these last few weeks, beginning with Thanksgiving. Whether its origin was the giving of thanks by Spanish colonists on the banks of the Rio Grande in 1598, or by colonists in Virginia who on December 4, 1619 followed the edict that “the day of our ships arrival … shall be … kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God” or the traditional “Pilgrim” celebration described as “For three dayes we entertained and feasted on a great store of wild turkies” (were they Seabees?), Thanksgiving is another uniquely American Day. In December we have Forefather’s Day, we remember Pearl Harbor and we celebrate Hanukkah and Christmas and we await anxiously 2018.
These times are tempestuous; many believe that they test whether our nation can survive. Be not disheartened -- President Lincoln reminded us “That this nation, under God shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth”.
Let’s reflect upon the past and embrace the future in the context of our multiple families -- biologic, social, Seabee and American. Let’s count our blessings and thank God for them. As we of the GREAT FIFTY-EIGHT age, our numbers will dwindle; now is the time to strengthen our relationships, to help the less fortunate and to pray for those brave men and women around the world who cannot be with their loved ones but allow us to celebrate with ours.
Finally, let’s plan to be together in Las Vegas in April!
Dr. Charles March
2017-2018 Chairman, NMCB 58 Association