Local Letters to the Editor

Have we forgotten
 the Fourth?

To the Editor:
    And yet another Dover-Foxcroft Independence Day has slipped uneventfully, and almost unnoticed into the town’s increasingly blank-paged history. What has happened to us? No parades, no fireworks and no reminiscence or recognition of what our founders accomplished 237 years ago.

    Following his signing of the Declaration of Independence a very wise and learned John Adams enthusiastically urged all citizens not to forget this momentous day. He wanted the nation to have an annual celebration complete with noise and music to mark its birthday, and for all who succeeded him to continue to recognize and honor both the event (independence) and the cherished freedom we seem now to take for granted. It was Adams who established the tradition of the July 4th Independence Day celebration, but somehow, the occasion in Dover-Foxcroft has slipped into the mists of forgetfulness. Do patriots still matter? Has patriotism fallen into disrepute or is it easier just to forget?
    Many consider the 4th of July as the country’s most significant annual event – a coast-to-coast celebration of our nation’s beginnings, a time when we can offer gratitude for the sacrifices of so many, a day when the stars and stripes have renewed meaning, when grave sites are visited and prayers offered for those who gave their all so that we can continue to live free.
    Seems that Dover no longer pays much attention to our independence. Have we forgotten what independence has done for us as individuals and as a nation?
    Think for a moment about the currently accelerated loss of our freedoms and question what it is that we can salvage and retain of those hard-won gifts and privileges that were bestowed on the free people of this incredible country.
    Dover’s spirit surrounding this historical moment seems no longer to remain a part of the town’s traditions. Where is the celebration Adams wished for and has Dover so blindly divorced itself from the national conscience? Have local mercantile interests trumped even a moment’s pause for reflection – a moment of celebration for the very freedom to seek prosperity and for our citizens to make their dreams a reality?
    As we recognize what is happening to our nation, Thomas Jefferson’s words echo in their timelessness. He said: “All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for the people of good conscience to remain silent.” We cannot afford to remain silent any longer!
    Aren’t we “… people of good conscience…?” Isn’t it time to take our stand for freedom? As a nation we surely must question just how many more Independence Days we’ll have. In Dover do we still have the right to honor our past and treasure our history?
    The Declaration of Independence remains the cornerstone for our Liberty and Freedom. Can we ask more of anyone than what the nation’s founders promised of themselves in the closing lines of the Declaration itself: “And for the support of this Declaration with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”
    Think what those brave signers of the Declaration were willing to do – would we feel the same in order to preserve our independence and our freedom? It’s time we take back our Independence Day – time to return the true meaning of freedom to Dover-Foxcroft!

Don Benjamin


Looking for 3rd Marine members

To the Editor;
    The Third Marine Division Association invites anyone who served with/or in direct support of the 3rd Marine Division, at any time, to join our association. For a membership application or more information, please contact me at 508-459-9937 or mgkm60@yahoo.com.

Ray Kelley
Worcester, Mass.

Get the Rest of the Story

Thank you for reading your4 free articles this month. To continue reading, and support local, rural journalism, please subscribe.