They are the folks all across America, including our own Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, and Erie counties, they are what keeps America going. They are creative, hard working men and women of integrity; and, they are dedicated senior citizens of passion; and, they are the loved and natured children who are cherished; ...that is what keeps America going. They are the great engine of humanity, powered by ingenuity and enterprise, generated by determination and collegiality. That is what fosters the grandeur of the great American spirit.

You know, we are an affluent nation of wealth, property, and products, but that is not the basis of our affluence. We have a powerful military establishment, but that's not what makes us strong. We have a creative energy in our medical and scientific communities within our shores, but that is not what makes us stand out among nations. We have illustrious enterprising business establishments, but that is not for what we are noted. And, our universities and culture are the envy of the world, but that's not what keeps the world coming to our shores. So, what is it that keeps America going?

It is the realization of the American spirit, the hope of the American promise, the indomitable fortitude of the People themselves. It is the American people of all ages and backgrounds... that moves us ever forward. Even when the times are uncertain and the pathways are unclear, there is a surge of energy, a spirit of resilience, and a drive for creativeness which prevails among the people. This same energy binds us together in spite of our differences. There is a spirit of determination that makes us fix our sights not on what is seen, but what is in the realm of possibility. For you see, there resides within the consciousness of Americans, a hope of that which can yet be realized. This hope is based upon the promise of that which resides in our greatest strength: a spirit of a valiant virtue within a determined people... regardless of age, background, or national origin. Therein, is our great American spirit.

The strength of America lies in the reality that the individual citizens are the architects of their own destiny. The people can write the scripts for their own life. If there is a single phrase, that best captures this idea, it is the "pursuit of happiness." America doesn't guarantee happiness but it guarantees you the opportunity to discover happiness for yourself. And happy people are a strong, passionate, and courageous people.

You know, America is exceptional. True, we are the most diverse nation on the Earth and there are strong bonds that hold the people together as a nation... as a united people. There is a strong belief that our destiny is shared with one another; that this country works well when we hold true to our obligations we have for and to one another. And these obligations extend to future generations. And, that the freedoms which so many noble Americans have fought for and died for, comes with responsibilities as well as rights, and among these rights are faith, love, and charity to one another and to our posterity. That's what makes America great.

All men and women in their own chosen fields are distinctly important in their own right. Be they present, past, or future workers. To name a few... health care providers, skilled trades and service personnel, military men and women, agriculturalists and all associated with foods and fabrics, social/scientific/civic/ and humanities personnel, business folks and artisans, educators and researchers, and media and civic personnel Each calling, plays a significant role as part of the epic mosaic of American free enterprise. And, each stands stoically as a significant pillar of the American enterprising spirit.

What keeps America going? It is the indomitable spirit of the people themselves. That is what keeps America going.