Dear Chapter Members,
As we get ready to celebrate July 4th this year, we find ourselves in unprecedented times.
A virus has crippled the world, reminding us that we don’t hold all the answers, and how important it is for countries to work together to share ideas, supplies and support. Due to this health crisis, individuals and companies are facing challenges that no one could have imagined half a year ago. Families have lost loved ones due to COVID-19; medical personnel are working long hours and without proper nor sufficient protection; small and large companies are filing for bankruptcy; people are scrambling to make ends meet and pay rent; masks meant to protect ourselves and others have become a political instrument; our current President pushes his followers to meet in large numbers in enclosed spaces, against all sound medical advice.
People have taken to the streets in protest against police violence and the many unnecessary deaths of people of color by law enforcement. Today, in the 21st century, we are seeing how the Enlightenment values of the 18th century, which are embedded in the Declaration of Independence, have not been achievable for a large portion of Americans. It has been a long and treacherous road for many minorities, especially African-Americans. From the Emancipation Proclemation, to the Reconstruction era, the awful Jim Crow years and the civil rights movement of the 1950’s and 60’s, the path to equality has not been easy—and is far from over. As Frederick Douglas said more than ten years before slavery was abolished nationally, “A lot of work is still to be done so that all citizens can enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”—words that are still true today, more than 150 years later.
We had a great moment of light with our 44th President, Barack Obama. He was a role model in so many ways: he believed in diplomacy; in building bridges and nurturing friendships with other countries; he tried to unite us as a nation. This year is an important year. In the Fall we have the power to vote someone into the White House who wants to unite our great nation, who wants to build bridges and continue the friendships and alliances that ensure our safety and prosperity. As overseas voters, our vote can have a huge impact on the election! Together we can ensure that the future is blue!
Wishing all a fun 4th of July weekend,
Stuttgart Chapter Chair