Legislative Report for the Week of Nov. 20, 2017
Before the Declaration of Independence, before the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, there was the Mayflower Compact, a document drawn up in the dark hold of ship by a group of weary Pilgrims in the fall of 1620. They had just endured 67 days of unimaginable hardship crossing the Atlantic, battered by raging storms, crammed into a ship built to haul wine and rum, not religious refugees, halfway across the world.
Against all odds they made it to America, where the first thing they did, before even setting foot on land, was create a binding compact establishing a working democracy built on religious tolerance for their colony in the New World.
From the very start, America’s history has been entwined with the longing for freedom. It’s what brought the Pilgrims to our shores, and what led countless other settlers to the Americas. It’s what compelled us to declare our independence from Great Britain. It’s what drove us west of the Appalachian Mountains, moving ever forward into lands first explored by Lewis and Clark.
The Pilgrims were the first sign, though, that this New World would be the start of something much different, the birth place of an idea that would change everything—that of a government whose power came from the will of the people, not their subjugation.
On Thursday, Missourians will sit down at their family dinner tables and celebrate Thanksgiving. Most people will mark the day the same way they have for years—a large meal, some football and afternoon naps. Most importantly, we will gather with our loved ones and show our appreciation for the things we have in our lives. That’s a beautiful sentiment that sometimes gets lost in the day-to-day grind.
Many countries celebrate a holiday this time of year to give thanks for a good harvest. Our Thanksgiving, however, is unique in that it’s not only a celebration of what we have, but it is also an opportunity to reflect on how we can help others.
We are a nation built on great ideas, by men and women who refused to yield to tyranny. The first flicker of those ideas can be seen in the revolutionary words of the Mayflower Compact and the brave Pilgrims who penned the document off the shores of Chesapeake Bay.
As you give thanks this year at the family dinner table, remember to be grateful for the country we call home, and the men and women who came before us that made all of this possible.
During the Thanksgiving holiday, please remember our brave service men and women overseas. They will spend the holiday season away from their families and loved ones, defending our freedoms. Our thoughts and prayers are always with them, and we humbly ask God to protect them in their service to our country.
I wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Robert F. (Bob) Onder, Jr.
Contacting Sen. Onder
I will always do my best to keep you informed of our work here in the Capitol. I encourage you to contact my office if you have comments, questions or concerns.
For constituent questions, scheduling and general questions, please contact my Scheduler and Director of Constituent Services Theckla Spainhower at Theckla.Spainhower@senate.mo.gov.
You can reach my Capitol office at (573) 751-1282. You can also e-mail me personally at Bob.Onder@senate.mo.gov.
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