Worthwhile sharing this speech by my husband Pieter, given to the people of Laurens County, prior to the fireworks.
The 4th of July 1994
|The Uninted States and Georgia State Flag on July 4th 2002|
Those weeping ilex trees are no more...
Thanks for the kind introduction; now you know almost all about the two of us. For the introduction of a speaker a typical question always is, what is exactly your title? In a certain booklet we found that there actually is no prouder title then to be an American citizen. Although the weather is not cooperating too well, today we have something really important to celebrate as you all know, we celebrate Uncle Sam's 218th Birthday; the birth of this great nation.
In the introduction you have heard that we are new Americans, although we came to this country already in '83. My wife's love affair with the U.S.A. started in April of '83; her very first visit to the New World. Some Campbell Soup people taught her at that time some history by visiting Rockford, MI, where president Ford grew up. They thought maybe she was homesick and thus they brought her to Holland in MI.
|Holland Michigan on the shore of Lake Michigan|
She was not homesick but just absorbing all she could about this fascinating new world. One of the highlights was the visit to Chestnut Street in Philadelphia; to the Independence Hall; the home of the Liberty Bell, a shrine of patriotism for all Americans. There we learned more about Life with a capital L and also about Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
|Pieter with our foster-daughter Anita, in 2004 in front of the Liberty Bell|
|View from the Hershey hotel in Philadelphia where we stayed|
The next day we flew to Dublin, GA and there we fell deeper and deeper in love with the New World.
|From Camden, New Jersey we flew on the Company jet from Campbell Soup to Dublin, Georgia on Saturday, April 23 of 1983|
Wearing my red Campbell jacket...
Thank you Founding Fathers.
Happy Birthday Uncle Sam; we love this country. May God bless this nation and all of us.
Pieter J.C. Vedder
Also for today, Happy 235th Birthday United States of America!!!