(Follow the events of our Independence Day weekend with us here on the blog, and also via Twitpics on our Twitter feed and in our Facebook photo albums! See our post for Part I here. Happy Independence Day!)
The rigors of the campaign trail frequently leave us skipping meals while jumping from one town to another. Fortunately, this was not the case on Independence Day morning. Our campaign team was lucky enough to start the day off with a breakfast hosted by the Highland Engine Fire Company No. 1 in Cornwall. We shared coffee and conversation with Cornwall Councilwoman Mary Beth Greene-Kraft and Town Clerk Elaine Schneer and left ready to tackle the rest of the day’s events.
Our team moved on next to the Independence Day Festival in Cornwall. We were met by our friend and West Point history professor Rob McDonald, who showed us around and introduced us to a bunch of new friends. We visited Sands-Ring Homestead, a landmark dating back to the mid-18th century, which left us ready for a renewal of the founding principles that made our nation the greatest in the world.
We traveled next to Van Wyck Hall in Fishkill for the village’s 108th annual reading of the Declaration of Independence. Mayor Jim Miccio led over 100 people gathered outside in the Pledge of Allegiance. Gregory Totino, of John Jay High School’s Class of 2010, gave a stirring reading of the nation’s founding document. Kaitlyn Miccio’s glorious voice graced both the national anthem and “America the Beautiful,” in which all in attendance joined her to close the ceremonies.
Next stop was historic Cold Spring Village in Putnam County for the annual Independence Day Celebration. We joined the crowds who braved blazing hot weather to enjoy open-air music, street vendors, and long tables of food and drink radiating out from the scenic Main Street gazebo and waterfront (from which we could make out the prominent flagstaff and Gothic chapel of West Point). We even had the distinct pleasure of meeting two tame and charming ladies from Hudson Valley Llamas!
At VFW Post 5491 in Mahopac, we met former Post Commanders and officers of the Ladies’ Auxiliary, and Commander Charles Monte took Nan and Will on a boat ride around Lake Mahopac. While on the boat, Will spoke with a Republican lady who said her Democratic husband might vote for Nan…we’re making new friends everywhere! Meanwhile, back ashore, Jesse, Michael, and Kevin enjoyed barbecue and conversation with Post members.
We spent the evening at the Lake Carmel fireworks, meeting voters along the causeway and on the beaches. Our Young Voters were heartened by how receptive people were when we asked them, “May we disturb your peaceful evening for a moment?” Nan’s stated mission to help you keep more of what you earn proved very popular. People shared with us their concerns about the future: those who had jobs themselves were worried for their children and grandchildren. We assured them that Nan is determined to renew our economy by limiting the size of the federal government and reducing their tax burdens. The brilliant fireworks display that ended the day reminded us of the optimism that has carried America through previous crises and preserved our freedom and prosperity.