Dear Ann Landers: We in the Red River Valley of northern Minnesota and North Dakota want to say a belated thank you to the kind people all over the country who were our support and lifeline at a very difficult time.
As most of you know, the valley experienced a horrific winter of ice and snow, far beyond what is normal. Fargo, N.D., received 116 inches of snow. Our last blizzard, also the worst, came on April 6, as many in our community were sandbagging to prevent overflowing rivers from flooding the area. Grand Forks not only flooded, but the entire downtown burned to the ground. During the month of April we fought flood waters, the likes of which have never been seen. While recovery will take months, I know we will band together and help one another get through this.
I want to express my heartfelt thanks to the rest of America. The response has been incredible. People came from hundreds of miles to throw sandbags in our communities, and there have been incredibly generous donations from around the country. We know, too, that all the prayers helped. The caring and concern expressed by thousands of people meant so much to us.
The Red Cross and Salvation Army deserve special thanks for the enormous assistance they’ve provided. They arrived as soon as help was needed and will continue to remain here for several months, providing shelter, food, clothing, supplies and other necessities.
Thank you, America. I am so proud to be part of this great country. You should be, too. - Sherry in Fargo, N.D.
Dear Fargo: Once again, America has proven to be the most generous and philanthropic country in the world. The spirit of volunteerism is only one example. Not only do we take care of our own, but we reach out in all directions and help people way beyond our borders, irrespective of race, color or creed.
I am indeed proud to be an American and have often wondered if my patriotism has something to do with being born on the Fourth of July. P.S. Happy birthday, Sis.
Dear Readers: In 1995, I printed this interesting piece of information on our national holiday, and I thought it was time to repeat the history lesson:
Dear Ann Landers: Though not widely known, it was on July 2, not July 4, that the Continental Congress passed a resolution initially declaring the independence of the colonies. Introduced on June 7, 1776, by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia, the resolution stated:
“Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved. That it is expedient forthwith to take the most effectual measures for forming foreign Alliances. That a plan of confederation be prepared and transmitted to the respective Colonies for their consideration and approbation.”
This resolution prepared the way for the Congress to adopt the final draft of the Declaration of Independence two days later, on July 4.
On July 4, 1995, we celebrate the 219th anniversary of Independence Day. It was also on this date 99 years ago that the poem “America the Beautiful” by Katherine Lee Bates, a Wellesley College professor, made its debut in a church publication titled “The Congregationalist.” - Serphin R. Maltese, senator, New York state.
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