A beautiful morning as we reflect on a momentous anniversary in world history. It's amazing to think that thirteen little colonies had the nerve to break with the greatest super power of the age, that the men tasked with the job had the stones to sign the Declaration knowing full well they could be drawn and quartered for it. To then take on that country's military with a ragtag band of patriot farmers, suffering unconscionable privation and years of setbacks and reversals of fortune, only to emerge the shocking victors, is miraculous. Not content to rest on their laurels and savor the fruits of victory, the Founders soon thereafter recognized the shortcomings of the Articles of Confederation, and came together to birth the remarkable document that underpins and vouchsafes our republic to this very day, guaranteeing the rule of law over the arbitrary power of fickle men, codifying the rights of the individual and expressly denying powers to government for the first time in history. George Washington, setting the precedent for all executives to follow, voluntarily gave up power to return to private life after his second term, an unimaginable act in those days, underscoring his deep belief in the need for civic virtue in the new republic. Omnia reliquit servare republicam. The Society of the Cincinnati, founded by Washington's officers, and carried on today by a small band of direct descendants, seeks to preserve and sustain the spirit of fellowship and principles of the Revolution, defend those rights dearly won, and preserve the continuing union of the states. To that end, I would remind you all this morning that, whatever political banner you may wave, we are all part of a unique fellowship. I would stand shoulder to shoulder with any of you against those who would seek to deprive us of our way of life. It took but two centuries to rise from nothing to the greatest power in world history. Now, as ever, in good times and especially in bad, we must remember the sacrifice of our forebears and the principles for which they were willing to give their life. God save the American States!