Dear DSDI Members,
Many thanks to Shelley Horsley Cruz for planning and hosting our meeting in New Haven, CT. She coordinated a full weekend with a memorable Signer’s wreath-laying ceremony, enthusiastic speakers, educational museum visits including seeing the famous John Trumbull paintings, excellent meals, and in the midst of this, we were treated to an engaging musical respite provided by Shelley’s incredibly talented nephews.
Every time we attend one of our meetings, we learn something new about our Signers’ “Immortal Document.” For example, one speaker raised the question, “What was meant in 1776 by the phrase, “pursuit of happiness?” Understanding the influence of the early Greek philosophers and the British philosopher, John Locke, is key. Pursue that challenge at your leisure, but many scholars feel the pursuit of happiness in the context of 1776 did involve some aspect of responsible behavior. Viewing that phrase through a modern day prism can create a different culturally inspired interpretation. I suspect this subject will continue to be debated. Want to expand your historical knowledge? Make a point to attend a future DSDI meeting.
An interesting thing occurred while I was in New Haven. A local reporter sought me out at the wreath-laying ceremony to inquire if our organization had a political agenda. I replied that our mission is clear and politics whether local, state or national, is not part of that as specifically mentioned in our Certificate of Incorporation. All members represent this wonderful organization, and if you face a similar inquiry, you can say with confidence that we strictly adhere to our mission of commemorating, honoring and educating in reference our Signers and what they accomplished.
Be sure to note the article on our scholarship program. We are looking for a few more members or their spouses to join the Scholarship Committee to help assess the growing list of young members applying. Our online application system will make this review task much easier. Let me know if you are interested in participating.
By this time you should have already received your DSDI Annual Giving letter. Please keep in mind that dues alone will not sustain our mission. Your support is very much appreciated.
I hope to see many of you at our spring meeting in Lexington and Concord, MA.
Lawrence McMahon Croft