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Summer is a time for outdoor activities and festivities happening across the State. Special community gatherings at fairs, parades, fireworks, barbeques, concerts, baseball games and family gatherings all kicking off a summer filled with excitement and celebration. This is especially true during this week of the Fourth of July. This year we celebrate our Nations 242nd anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
It is a time to step back and be thankful for the rights, liberties and freedoms that we share. Remembering those who have so bravely fought for and defended these freedoms. Those that broke the sod, pioneered a new way of life, struggled and persevered to make a better life for us all. We cannot take for granted what they have provided for us and in their spirit we must work together to build a better life. It is my hope that you and your family have a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July.
I would like to share a few examples highlighting the vitality of our communities: Bone Creek Museum in David City received the Governors Art Award and they will be celebrating their 10th anniversary on July 8th and Henningsen Foods announced an expansion to their operations; a new business G & G Storage opened in Mead; Men in Mission continue their work in Ashland and Obadiah Pruitt received his Eagle Scout Award; Shell Creek watershed was delisted from the EPA’s atrazine impairment on aquatic life (a first in the Nation) and the Shell Creek Watershed Improvement Group was key to making this happen, Schuyler High School students are conducting water sampling in this watershed; Wahoo High School Performing Arts Program was recently recognized at the Nebraska High School Theatre Awards winning Outstanding Musical Theatre Production, Outstanding Ensemble and Outstanding Performance in a Lead Role for “Shrek the Musical,” Wahoo State Bank is making great strides in its rebuilding; the Saunders County Livestock Association, Soybean and Corn Growers remain and strong and vital part of the district.
It is in these ways we as individuals can come together to grow and enhance our communities, our state and our country. As we celebrate our Independence Day we must remember that it is contributions such as these from individuals from all different backgrounds and ethnicity that has grown and formed our nation into what it is today. With recent federal events highlighting policies on immigration and border security we must keep in mind where our nation has been and where we would like to see it go in the future as we continue to grow this state and country. These are issues that our federal administrations have been tasked with facing for many years and those decisions and policies impact us all. Concerns about human trafficking and safety are real issues and important considerations that require extensive thought and policy debate. However, family separation in this manner is never a good answer to solving them. Having a secure and welcoming border is in the best interest of everyone.