The past week presented our country at its best and worst as historic events unfolded from Cape Canaveral to Minneapolis. Video from Florida made us so proud as a nation to witness the triumph of the SpaceX mission; such a wonderful testament to the awesome success our national commitment to liberty has had in improving the quality of billions of lives worldwide through the achievements of the free enterprise system that derives from that liberty. But, in the same week, we were devastated by the video of the tragic death of Mr. Floyd on the streets of Minneapolis and the resulting wave of violence and destruction across the country.
As the SpaceX triumph so clearly demonstrates, we are a great nation with the ability to achieve that to which we so fervently dedicate our God given talents and resources. As the Floyd tragedy and subsequent protests and violence clearly evidence, we still have ample challenges to which those talents and resources must be earnestly, honestly, and effectively dedicated.
Harford County is up to these challenges. We are, and have been, on the frontline of world shaping events for centuries. We are home to war heroes, from the Revolution to Afghanistan, to renowned statesmen and religious leaders who confronted challenges around the globe, to scientists and engineers who armed and defended our nation in WWI and every war and conflict since, and to world class athletes and international performers who inspired imaginations.
We struggled mightily as we and the nation confronted the immense pain and injustice inflicted by slavery, lynching, and racial segregation. Those struggles produced many local heroes, most of whose names are long forgotten but whose legacies of love we have tried to honor through the preservation of historic structures like the Hosanna School in Darlington, the McComas Institute in Abingdon, the Colored Schools in Bel Air and Havre de Grace, and the monument to our county’s lone Medal of Honor recipient, Sgt. Alva B. Hilton, a “colored troop” of the Civil War. These structures honor those courageous people who responded to acts of hatred and division with voices of grace and deeds of love.
Now, in the highly charged, hyper-divisive political climate that has inevitably emerged at just over four months from the national election, we are again called upon to respond at our fullest potential to those confused people of all stripe who, for their own narrow purposes, seek to divide us, to enrage us, and to turn us toward hatred. We will succeed because we are stronger, because we believe in the immortal words of our Founding Fathers that all men are created equal, and because we are called by faith to love one another as God loves us.
I want to especially thank and publicly support our law enforcement officers throughout our County and State, and our National Guardsmen deployed here and around the world. They continue to do such an amazing job supporting and protecting us and preserving our liberties. My thanks to them and their families.
May God bless you, our community, and this great land.