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Appreciating America

July 9, 2015
Lake Placid News

To the editor:

Mitchell Reiss, president and CEO of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation sent this message, to his colleagues at CW. It says in part:

"In June of 1785, Thomas Jefferson was living abroad - an experience that made him hunger for all things American.

"Urging his friend James Monroe to visit him, he wrote: 'It will make you adore your own country, its soil, its climate, its equality, liberty, laws, people & manners, My God! How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy. I confess I had no idea of it myself.'

"People who like to quote Jefferson sometime leave off that last sentence, but to me it is the most astonishing - and in a way, the most fundamentally American.

"Because in America, nothing seems more natural to us than freedoms on which this country was founded. ... Two hundred and thirty years later, it is all the easier for us to take those blessings for granted.. ... July Fourth is our collective opportunity to remember - and no one, of course, remembers it better that Colonial Williamsburg."

Those are exactly my sentiments about America. I, a naturalized citizen, never tire to tell anyone who is willing to listen, that to appreciate what America represents, although far from perfect, is the best, as Winston Churchill used to say about democracy, compared with everything else that is offered.

Frank Shatz

Lake Placid



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