Readers’ Views

Dedication coming up

To the Editor:

The dedication of the area veterans tribute in Trimont will be 10 a.m. July 8 at Memorial Park in Trimont. The tribute is for all Martin County and area veterans. The cost is $150 for a bronze plaque on a granite monument.

The first set of names were put on the monument June 15. We have more than 200 names, with more coming in every day.

Many ask … How much money did you get from Martin County? Last year, we asked the Martin County commissioners if they could donate some gravel fill. We were told they could not donate anything to our veterans tribute.

David Olson,

Area Veterans Tribute

Fairmont

An inspiring story

To the Editor:

July Fourth marks the birth of our nation. But it also marks an inspiring story of personal friendship and forgiveness that serves as a model for us and our country just as much as the Declaration of Independence serves as a model for our national ideals.

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were two of the most significant founders of our nation. Adams led the fight for independence and become America’s second president. Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence and defeated Adams to become the third president.

They both died on the same day, July 4, 1826, exactly 50 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

They had become friends early on, in 1775, when they both served in the Continental Congress, and they were an unlikely pair to become strong friends. Adams was from the North, he was short and paunchy, Jefferson from the South, tall and thin. Although they had strong political differences, they did have a common purpose in pursuing national independence. Unfortunately, they also the egos to match that vision. Ultimately their friendship fell apart.

During the time Adams was president and Jefferson was vice-president, Jefferson became a vocal critic of Adams. Jefferson formed a new political party, the Democratic-Republican Party, to oppose Adams and his Federalist Party; and Jefferson prevailed in the election of 1800. Adams retaliated after Jefferson was elected with some midnight appointments of judges who could obstruct Jefferson’s policies. For the next 11 years of this very public disagreement, they didn’t speak or exchange letters.

A mutual friend by the name of Benjamin Rush, a physician and signer of the Declaration of Independence, put a lot of energy into his years of trying to get these two men to reconcile with each other. But in doing so, Rush had prosperity in mind. He knew that future generations would benefit from a renewed correspondence between Adams and Jefferson.

The ice gradually melted on Adams side first. He told Rush that he held no resentment against Jefferson, and soon sent a short note to Jefferson, who eagerly replied. They went on to exchange 160 letters over the next 12 years, and some historians regard this as the greatest correspondence between prominent statesmen in our history.

This reconciliation teaches us something about ourselves in our darkness, a darkness that we often create. It also teaches us something about how God has led us to where we are, guides us and continues to call us back into relationships. We also learn about who makes the first move when our friendship with God falls on hard times. If no reconciliation had occurred between these two of the greatest collection of leaders ever assembled in our country, we would never have had these inspiring letters they wrote to each other.

Michael Garry

Fairmont

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