My fellow Americans,
2020 has been an unprecedented year for our country. Faced with a global pandemic, social unrest, and economic uncertainty, each of us has struggled and sacrificed in ways both great and small.
And yet, through these shared experiences, we also have an opportunity to reflect on our resilience, and the common bonds that unite us as we look with hope to a new year.
The essence of America250 is to provide an opportunity for all Americans to come together. To listen and learn about our history, our government, and each other. And to refresh the civil dialogue that perpetually shapes our country and promotes constructive expressions of unity.
I am proud to say that our Commission has begun this work in earnest. This year, we hosted our first virtual listening sessions, engaging citizens and leaders across the country to better understand what lasting impacts we can achieve from our nation’s 250th anniversary of independence.
We partnered with the National Park Service to further our shared commitment to educate and inspire Americans through the deep cultural history of our National Park System, places where generations of Americans are reminded of our common ideals of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Thousands of Americans participated in our first two national virtual education campaigns, the America250 Constitution Quiz and the America250 November Salute, an online photo gallery that honors those who wear our nation’s uniform, past and present. If you haven’t seen this powerful tribute to our service men and women, I encourage you to check it out at NovemberSalute.America250.org.
And America250 also officially recognized three incredible programs to inspire the American spirit. These are just the first of what we anticipate will be more than 100,000 officially recognized programs that invite us to learn more about our shared history, engage one another in the present, and imagine our future.
Lastly, we are proud to announce Vermont has become the latest state to form their own America250 planning entity, to coordinate and promote observances and activities that commemorate Vermont’s role in the shaping of our nation. For a full update on all the Commission’s activities this year, I encourage you to review our first annual Report to Congress, which was submitted on December 15, 2020.
While I am proud of what we have achieved, there is much more work to be done.
Together, our country’s character, resilience, and commitment to liberty and justice will move us forward on our collective journey toward a more perfect Union in 2026 and beyond.
On behalf of the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission, we wish you and your families a festive holiday season.