The national ‘Quilts of Valor’ program, Oregon Chapter, was in Ontario a few days ago to present several area Veterans who were touched by war, with their personal ‘Quilt of Valor’, thanking them for their service to our Country. J. Marie Norris and Tina Newson represented the Oregon State Chapter of ‘Quilts of Valor’ in presenting these beautiful ‘handmade’ quilts to John Mathews, Vince Schwartz, Bill Emmons, Leonard Burns, Thomas Pierce, Alvin Schaw, Raymond McMahon, Christina Barron and myself. We want to thank ALL the Veterans for their service to our Great Country, and also thank the Oregon Chapter of ‘Quilts of Valor’, for so honorably recognizing these Veterans. Also of note last Fall they were in Ontario, and presented a personal ‘Quilt of Valor’ to Purple Heart recipient and Vietnam Veteran Michael Johnson. Speaking of honorable service to our Country:
On this very date in the year 1789, a man in one of the then 13 States, borrowed some money to pay off his debts in Virginia and set out on his way to New York. And on April 30 in a specially decorated Barge, embarked across the Hudson River to ‘Federal Hall’ located on Wall Street, to take the oath of office as the First President of the United States. George Washington, the great military leader of the American Revolution, had garnered all 69 of the Electoral votes of Congress and was now being sworn in as our first President. After being sworn in on the balcony of Federal Hall to the cheers of a large crowd, President Washington entered the assembly of congressmen to present his inaugural address. So besides being a very clever military tactician, Mr. Washington was a very learned man of ideas, insight and understanding, and mastered the ability to communicate these observations to others. For example, here is a very enlightened passage from his inaugural speech: “No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the affairs of men more than the people of the United States. Every step, by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency. And in the important revolution just accomplished in the system of their United Government, the tranquil deliberations and voluntary consent of so many distinct communities, from which the event has resulted, cannot be compared with the means by which most governments have been established, without some return of pious gratitude along with a humble anticipation of the future blessings which the past seem to presage. You will join with me I trust in thinking, that there are none under the influence of which, the proceedings of a new and free government can more auspiciously commence.” In referring to the designing of the ‘Great Constitutional Charter’ and the ‘Executive Branch’, President Washington extols their commitment to afford the citizens the foundations of a ‘just government’. He then remarks; “In these honorable qualifications, I behold the surest pledges, that as on one side, no local prejudices, or attachments; no separate views, nor party animosities, will misdirect the comprehensive and equal eye which ought to watch over this great assemblage of communities and interests: so, on another, that the foundations of our National policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principals of private morality; and the pre-eminence of a free Government, be exemplified by all the attributes which can win the affections of its Citizens, and command the respect of the World.”
It was also on the 30th of April in 1798 that Congress ‘officially’ established the Department of the Navy. However, the actual ‘unofficial’ origins began with the ‘Continental Congress’ in 1775, by authorizing 2-armed ships to be outfitted and cruise in search of ships supplying munitions to the British Army in America.
“The US Constitution doesn’t guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself”. Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father of the United States