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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Dean Urdahl (R)

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Jefferson, Adams, Gettysburg and poison ivy

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Dear Neighbor,


Just a quick note wishing you and your family a safe and happy Fourth of July.


It is ironic that two of our founding fathers – Thomas Jefferson and John Adams – died on July 4, the very date we recognize they helped bring the United States of America to life. Interestingly, legend has it that Adams’ last words were, “Thomas Jefferson still survives.” Adams, on his deathbed, apparently was unaware that Jefferson had passed away just hours earlier. Click here for more on that story.


Also, July 2 was the anniversary of the First Minnesota’s heroic efforts during the Battle of Gettysburg. If that battle were the tipping point of the Civil War, the First Minnesota’s success in holding Cemetery Ridge paved the way for the Union to prevail. They suffered immense casualties and it was humbling to take part in a commemoration ceremony there last year. The poison ivy I obtained was nowhere near as catastrophic as the fire the soldiers faced, but it just goes to show Gettysburg still is not safe for a Minnesotan 150 years later.


Please take a moment this weekend to think about the incredible sacrifices the people in our armed forces have made over the years to provide us with the great freedoms we enjoy. We sometimes get so bogged down in the day-to-day grind that we lose perspective and forget just how great we have it in the United States of America. And, while you’re at it, I encourage you to take a moment to share some of the stories of our past with today’s children. It is important to keep those legacies alive.