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Here I would love to share with you our travels and adventures as international mushroom consultants. MEMOIRS about husband Pieter Vedder, who was a SCIENTIFIC PIONEER in Mushroom Cultivation Education. His practical handbook is in 8 languages and is called the MUSHROOM BIBLE: https://mariettesbacktobasics.blogspot.com/2020/08/modern-mushroom-growing-2020-harvesting.html

Monday, July 4, 2011

{4th of July Speech given by my husband Pieter}

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 Learjet from Campbell Soup to Dublin, Georgia on Saturday, April 23 of 1983
Wearing my red Campbell jacket...

So in August of '83 we came to live here. This was our pursuit of Happiness. Last year (1993) we got our American citizenship and since then we can say: we are Dutch by birth and American by choice and we are proud of both. There are a couple of reasons for that pride. Maybe you didn't know but the Dutch, of any nation, have the longest uninterrupted friendly relationship with the U.S.A. and for sure we like to keep it that way. It was on Nov. 16 in 1776 that the ford on the Dutch island of St. Eustatius in the Caribbean returned the salute from the American warship Andrea Dorea, as it entered the harbour. This was the first salute by a foreign power to the flag of the U.S.A. of America. As the history books say: this was a very courageous action by the Dutch and it enhanced the diplomatic credibility of the U.S.A. It also gave a strong boost to the moral of the revolutionary troops. So, today it is 218 years ago that the U.S.A. has been founded. In the Dutch tradition, Birthdays always are important events, often celebrated with an all day open house, birthday gifts etc. A good question, not only for us but for all immigrants could be: why did you come to the U.S.A? What did we expect to find here what we eventually didn't have in the country where we lived before? Although a lot of things have changed since then, the answer will be more or less identical to what brought the founding fathers to this part of the world over 200 years ago. The most important reason for them was the freedom and the space to live in the broadest sense. The freedom to believe in God in different ways; the freedom to have your own opinion, the opportunity to develop yourself up to the limits etc. On this Birthday we should never forget that the founding fathers and after them numerous immigrants have for sure not chosen the easiest way. They didn't find a paradise; they just found a place with almost unlimited opportunities but they had to be explored. Very important also is that their freedom was based on a strong moral and on personal responsibility. That, in combination with hard work, made this country into what it is today; in our opinion the best country to live in. We have a number of good reasons to make this statement. As you perhaps know, or picked up from the introduction, for our job we traveled, and still do, all over the world and lived in several countries We lived in Dublin from '83 through '88 and after that in Italy and Indonesia. We more and more discovered what a great country the U.S.A. is to live in; we got homesick and looked for every opportunity to return. With O'Henry contribute our share in what the founding fathers once started. They worked hard to develop this country, made it prosperous and a better place to live. They installed and maintained high moral values, based on a strong believe in God. They've shown the world that they could handle their freedom. Our forefathers didn't contribute frivolous gifts to this country. So, let's celebrate this Birthday of our nation not only with a spectacular firework but let's wrap up a big box for Uncle Sam, containing: A huge amount of humility, a lot of tolerance, respect for each other and patience, the most of integrity and compassion and a strong will to share freely with others.
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!!!


  1. Dear Mariette,
    Beautiful speech. Happy 4th of July to you and yours. May God bless you.

  2. Happy 4th of July dear Mariette!

    Kisses and nice week:)

  3. What a Wonderful Speach given by your husband!!!
    He included about story of the warship you wrote yesterday's post. Sure was great that he had this great opportunity to express the bond between the two countries.
    God Bless all of your family, pictures are wonderful as well.
    Hugs and lots of Love, xoxo Orchid

  4. Liebe Mariette,

    von uns beiden liebe Grüße
    Angela und Elisabeth

  5. Gratuler med dagen! Dat zouden ze in Noorwegen zeggen. Zo heeft ieder land zijn eigen speciale feestdag. Hier in Noorwegen is dat 17 mei de dag de grondwet is ondertekend.

    Ik wens jullie nog een fijne dag,

  6. Gratuler med dagen! Dat zouden ze in Noorwegen zeggen. Zo heeft ieder land zijn eigen speciale feestdag. Hier in Noorwegen is dat 17 mei de dag de grondwet is ondertekend.

    Ik wens jullie nog een fijne dag,

  7. precies 3 jaar geleden vertrokken we - na 5 dagen genieten - op 4 juli van New York naar Toronto.

  8. Dearest Mariette,

    Pieter's speech brought tears to my eyes. I can relate to his insightful words as an immigrant myself. I have found peace, freedom and respect in this country. I'm proud of being an American citizen by choice. And I feel blessed at meeting so many wonderful people like you and Pieter.

    (((( hugs )))))


  9. Cari Pieter e Mariette, mi sono commossa...siete persone speciali!
    Che Dio benedica tutti voi e la vostra terra.
    Un caro, carissimo abbraccio

  10. Dear Mariette,
    Pieter's speech is very thoughtful and beautifully spoken of his gratitude towards the freedoms that America holds dear. It is wonderful to be reminded of the strong bond between the Dutch and America. Beautiful words for the 4th of July. Hugs, xoxo


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