Building a strong foundation

By David Bailey, General Manager

Some of our younger members might not remember the United States bicentennial in 1976, but our country’s 200th birthday is still clear in my memory. That year the U.S. Mint produced special bicentennial quarters, and I still remember saving every one of them I could find.

In the hot summer of July 1776, men who would become known as the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence. But they were also signing their death
warrants. In their fight for independence from King George III and Great Britain, they knew failure would undoubtedly mean being executed for treason.

A little over a decade later, on Sept. 17, 1787, the U.S. Constitution was signed. It wasn’t a perfect document; nothing made by man is. But over the following centuries, amendments were passed to correct some of the document’s early errors, such as the 13th Amendment that outlawed slavery. The Constitution still serves as the foundation for how our country is governed. And in my opinion, this is the greatest country in recorded history.

Right about now you may be asking yourself about the point of bringing up this history. Aside from the fact that I always enjoy sharing history with the readers of this column, I’d like to point out how the formation of the United States soon led to Alabama’s founding as a state in December 1819. If you do the math, you’ll notice that we are celebrating our own bicentennial this year.

Throughout 2019 there have been numerous events across the state to celebrate this momentous occasion. In this month’s magazine, you can read about a couple of local ones in our community.

Like our country, Alabama’s past isn’t perfect. But the great thing about both is that we are able to correct our mistakes and continue improving. I know I am very thankful to be from Alabama.

Of course, it wouldn’t be an SAEC magazine without an update about our new facility. Over the last several months, we have published a series of stories aimed at informing you, the member, about the new building. Our hope is to have it ready to serve you within two years. If you’ve driven past the site recently, you’ll notice there are already signs of progress. Like the U.S. Constitution when it was first written, you have to establish a good foundation to build something great on top of it.

This month also marks the start of our annual Youth Tour process. If you know any high school juniors, please encourage them to apply for the tour. We have been fortunate to be represented by some wonderful young people in our community over the past few years, and I’m sure there are many more to come.

That’s one thing we can be thankful for as we approach Thanksgiving, but there are so many others during the month of November.

I’m thankful for great football games and for the start of gun season for deer hunters — and the head start bow hunters like myself get to enjoy. I’m also thankful for the fall harvest so important to our community. And I’m especially thankful for my family, the freedoms this country provides and the chance to honor those who protect them on Veterans Day.

If you know a veteran, I hope you will take a moment this month to let them know how much you appreciate their service. I would personally like to thank my father, retired Lieutenant Colonel Joseph W. Bailey, for his long military service. Until next month, may God bless you and your family.

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2019 - January February March April May June July August September October November

2018 - January February March April May June July August September October November December

2017 - January February March April May June July August September October November December

2016 - June July August September October November December