400th Commemorative Ceremony of the First Legislative Assembly

400th Commemorative Ceremony of the First Legislative Assembly

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>>WELCOME TO THE HISTORIC JAMESTOWN. I HAVE THE GREAT HONOR TO SERVE AS CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER FOR PRESERVATION OF VIRGINIA. ON BEHALF OF BOARD OF SUPERVISORS AND JAMESTOWN BOARD OF DIRECTORS, I SHARE OUR APPRECIATION FROM FRIENDS AND PARTNERS GATHERED TODAY AND ACKNOWLEDGE THE LEADERSHIP OF THE ADMINISTRATION, THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY, AMERICAN EVOLUTION AND JAMESTOWN FOUNDATION. OUR SPECIAL APPRECIATION TO OUR PARTNERS MANAGING HISTORIC JAMESTOWN THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, TRIBAL REPRESENTATIVES AND MEMBERS OF THE DESCENDENT AND FAMILY SITE. WE COMMEMORATE THE EVENTS THAT OCCURRED ON THIS SITE 400 YEARS AGO. THE DISTINGUISH SPEAKERS WHO FOLLOWED ME — AND THE DIRECT INFLUENCE STILL DEVELOPED TODAY. I WILL FOCUS ON THIS PHYSICAL PLACE AND THE PERSISTENCE ADVERSE OF WOMEN WHO ENSURED ITS PRESERVATION. THE HISTORY EMBODIES WITHIN THESE WALLS WOULD HAVE BEEN LOST IF IT WERE NOT FOR THE VISION AND DEDICATION OF WOMEN. IN THE 1889, MARY JEFFREY AND CYNTHIA COLEMAN FOUNDED THE ASSOCIATION FOR THE PRESERVATION OF VIRGINIA. NOW KNOWN AS PRESERVATION VIRGINIA. THEIR GOAL WAS TO SAVE AND RESTORE LANDSCAPES AND BUILDINGS THAT EMBODY OUR COLONIAL TRADITIONS. THE WOMEN ESTABLISHED AN ORGANIZATION FIRST IN NATION OVER 130 YEARS AGO AND HAS SAVED MORE THAN 500,000 VIRGINIA HISTORIC PLACES. NEVER VEERING FROM THEIR EARLY AMBITION TO ACQUIRE JAMESTOWN IN 1893 THEY WERE SUCCESSFUL AND OBTAINED 22 ACRES INCLUDING THE 17th CENTURY CHURCH TOWER AND FOUNDATION OF THE OLD CHURCHES. WITHIN THAT FIRST DECADE, BROUGHT GUESTS AND PERSUASIVE, THE LADIES CONVINCED CONGRESS TO BUILD A SEAWALL TO PROTECT JAMESTOWN FROM FURTHER EROSION PRESERVATION OF VIRGINIA FOUNDERS FORMED ALLIANCE WITH THE COLONIAL DAMES OF AMERICA. IT CONSTRUCT THIS CHURCH, PLACED MONUMENTS, MARKERS AND GATES IN ADVANCE WITH THE VENGER. CONNECTIONS BETWEEN THESE ORGANIZATIONS AND THIS PLACE OF HISTORIC MEMORY REMAIN RESOLUTE. IN THOSE EARLY YEARS, THEY LAUNCHED AN EXCAVATION TO FOUND THE FOUNDATION WHERE THE FIRST ASSASSEMBLY MET. ALTHOUGH AMATEURS, THEY PROVIDED CLUES TO JAMESTOWN DISCOVERY SENIOR ARCHAEOLOGIST WHO IN 2016 LED ONLY THE SECOND ARCHAEOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION OF THIS CHURCH. THEY PEELED BACK THE LAYERS OF CONCRETE AND BRICK TO FIND EVIDENCE OF THE 15 BY 20 FRAME, 1617 CHURCH AND ITS FOUNDATIONS. ONE EVENING, THE TEAMS STOOD BACK THE REALIZATION THEY WERE LOOK AT FOOTINGS THAT LITERALLY AND FIGURATIVELY REPRESENT THE FOUNDATION OF OUR DEMOCRACY. THE TEAM UNEARTHED THE VERY SPOT WHERE GOVERNOR SIR GEORGE HIS FOUR COUNSELORS AND 22 MET IN THE THAT FIRST ASSEMBLY. THAT WE COMMEMORATE TODAY. THE VERY SPACE IN WHICH WE SIT. AT HISTORIC JAMESTOWN, WE EMBRACE THE BELIEF THAT HISTORIC PLACES OFFER SINGULAR OPPORTUNITY TO CONNECT PRESENT AND FUTURE GENERATIONS WITH FINAL LESSONS ABOUT ALL FACETS OF OUR COMPLEX HISTORY. STANDING WHERE HISTORY HAPPENS OFFERS EXPERIENCES THAT MAYBE SOBERING, INSPIRING AND THOUGHT-PROVOKING. WE STRIVE TO CAPTURE THE COMPLEXITY OF OUR HISTORY AND WHY THEY MET FIGURES LIKE JOHN SMITH AND AS WELL AS RECENTLY REVEALED STORIES OF THE UNNAMED RICH INDIAN WOMEN WHO LIVED WITHIN COURT WALLS IN THE EARLY YEARS. A TEENAGE GIRL WE CALL JANE WHO SPEAK TO THE BRUTAL CONDITIONS OF — ANGELA, A WOMAN CAPTURED AND BROUGHT TO JAMESTOWN. WITH THIS ANNIVERSARY, ONGOING RESEARCH AND INTERPRETATION BUILDS ON THE INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNIZED ARCHAEOLOGICAL WORK INITIATED IN 1994 BY DR. WILLIAM AND HIS TEAM. DR. JAMES HORN LEADS THE JAMES DISCOVERY TEAM TO REFLECT THE PERSPECTIVE OF PEOPLE. WE FOLLOW THE FOOTSTEPS HERE ON JAMESTOWN. ARCHAEOLOGICAL ARE REMAINS OF THE 1617 CHURCH SURVIVED THROUGH THE PERSISTENCE AND PATIENCE OF WOMEN. IN 1907, AT THE DEDICATION OF MEMORIAL GATES, JAMES AUSTIN POWELL REMARKED ON THE WOMEN’S LEGACY. ANY WORK THAT REQUIRES SINCERE, UNSELFISH DEVOTION WAS ALWAYS BEST AND TRUSTED TO THE LAW OF WOMEN. TODAY, WE COMMEMORATE THE ASSEMBLY OF 1619 AND HONOR ALL THE PEOPLE, WOMEN AND MEN, WHO ENSURED THAT WE COULD STAND HERE WHERE THE SEEDS OF OUR DEMOCRACY WERE FIRST LANDED. THANK YOU AND WELCOME. [APPLAUSE]>>GOOD MORNING. I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE FOR AN INCREDIBLE COMMEMORATION THE FOUNDING OF THIS NATION AND HOW WE HAVE EVOLVED OVER 400 YEARS. I’M TOMMY NORMAN. I HAVE THE PLEASURE OF REPRESENTING THE THIRD SENATORIAL DISTRICT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA. IT IS A MARVELOUS OPPORTUNITY BECAUSE IT IS A SITE AND VENUE OF HISTORIC JAMESTOWN WHERE WE’RE NOW SEATED. IT INCLUDES RECONSTRUCTION OF THE JAMESTOWN SETTLEMENT JUST CACROSS THE CAUSEWAY. AS YOU ALL KNOW, THIS VENUE INCLUDES THE FIRST PERMANENT ENGLISH SETTLEMENT WHEN 104 VERY BRAVE YOUNG MEN AND BOYS LANDED ON MAY 13, 1607, THE SITE INCLUDES NOT JUST THE FIRST ENGLISH SETTLEMENT BUT THE RECONSTRUCTED REMNANTS AND THE REMAINS OF COLONIAL VIRGINIA. BETWEEN THE JAMES RIVER AND THE YORK RIVER, YOU WILL FIND SITES THAT ARE RELATED TO OUR NATION AND OTHERS THAT INVOLVE THE NEAR CONSTRUCTION OF THIS NATION. ON THIS DAY JAMESTOWN ISLAND ITSELF CITE THE THE FIRST ENGLISH COLONY, IT STILL EXIST. OF COURSE WHEN YOU GROW UP SURROUNDED BY HISTORY WHEN THINGS ARE PROTECTED AND INTERPRETED, YOU SIMPLY ACCEPT IT AS PART OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS. IT’S JUST HOME. THIS IS MY HOME. I FURTHER SAY THAT THAT’S WHY WHEN YOU SEE A PERSON IN THE SUPERMARKET LOCALLY, FOR INSTANCE DRESSED IN LEGGINGS OR WEST COAT OR TRICLONE HAT, YOU MUST THINK NOTHING IT. IT’S PART OF BEING HOME. SAME GOES FOR NATIVE AMERICAN IN TRADITIONAL NATIVE DRESS OR WOMEN IF LARGE ELABORATE, GLORIFYING DRESSES OF BI-GONE ERAS. IT’S JUST HOME. BY-GONE IS WHAT WE DO. HISTORY FOR MANY OF US IS PREOCCUPATION. IT IS SPECIAL PART OF OUR PRESENCE. WE HOPE WILL BE RESPECTFUL PART OF OUR FUTURE. OUR NEIGHBORS EXPLORE. THEY TEACH AND THEY PRESERVE HISTORY AS A LIVING AND H ELIZABETH I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR YEARS WHAT YOU DONE FOR PRESERVATION OF VIRGINIA. WE SPENT LOT OF TIMES BACK IF 2007. SHE’S DONE A MARVELOUS. WE TOOK ON THE 400th ANNIVERSARY REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT, WITH ALL THE EARTHS- EFFORTS TO UNDERSTAND SLAVERY AND EFFECTS OF THIS COLONY ON THE INDIGENOUS NATIVE AMERICANS. IT IS A CHALLENGE FOR ALL OF US TO DO BETTER. WE HAVE WORKED AT IT VERY HARD, CONSIDERABLE THOUGHT HAS GONE INTO IT. I HONESTLY DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY DID IN 1719, I DO RECALL WHAT THEY DID IN 1819. I WAS HERE TO COMMEMORATE THE 200 ANNIVERSARIES. COMMEMORATION MOSTLY INVOLVED A SUSTAINED SALUTE OF OUR ENGLISH ROOTS. A POINTED FACT, WE DO APPRECIATE OUR ENGLISH ROOTS. IT IS FOUNDATIONAL TO OUR LAW AND OUR CURRENT POLITICAL STRUCTURE. NOW WE UNDERSTAND SO MUCH MORE AND IT IS NOT BY ACCIDENT. WE HAVE WORKED AND WORK ARDUOUSLY AT THAT. WE HAVE EXAMINED THE EVENTS THAT OCCURRED HERE INCLUDING THEIR CONSEQUENCES INTENDED AND UNINTENDED. WE HAVE DONE SO MUCH WITH GREATER SENSITIVITY AND HONESTY. IT SEEMS TO ME THAT IT IS OUR DUTY, IT IS OUR STEWARDSHIP THAT WE OWE EACH OTHER. IT IS OUR STEWARDSHIP THAT WE OWE AMERICA. THEN, TELL IT ALL AS BEST AS WE CAN UNVARNISHED. THERE’S HISTORY AND THERE’S MEMORY. I WILL LEAVE IT TO THE SCHOLARS TO MAKE THE NECESSARY DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN HISTORY AND MEMORY. BUT CLEARLY THE TWO ENJOY A VERY CLOSE RELATIONSHIP. SOMEONE ONCE WROTE THAT MEMORY REMAINS A SUBJECT OF REFLECTION AND ANXIETY NOT THE LEAST BECAUSE AS PEOPLE LIVE LONGER, MORE OF THEM SURVIVE WITHOUT CONNECTIONS TO THE PAST. AND I IDENTIFY WITH THAT. I CAN’T REMEMBER THINGS LIKE I USED TO. TECHNOLOGY AND A FAR MORE OPEN APPROACH TO HISTORY MAY HAVE CHANGED THAT. I PRAYERFULLY HOPE SO. CLEARLY PEOPLE YEARN TO BETTER UNDERSTAND THEIR OWN ANCESTRY. WE NEED TO PULL APART AND CLOSELY EXAMINE OUR NATIONAL DNA, HISTORICAL MILESTONES INCLUDING COMMEMORATIONS SUCH AS WE ARE CELEBRATING TODAY OFFER US AN OPPORTUNITY FOR GREATER INSIGHT AND MORE DEPTH UNDERSTANDING OF OUR ANCESTRY. WE WANT TO REMEMBER, WE WANT TO COMMEMORATE. WE WANT TO RESPECT OUR HERITAGE. I WILL SAY THAT IT IS AN HONOR TO BE JOINED BY A CONTEMPORARY LEADER WHO EMBRACES THE HERITAGE OF OUR PARLIAMENTARY AND LEGISLATIVE FORM OF GOVERNMENT. IT IS MY PLEASURE TO INTRODUCE TO YOU SIR DAVID LIONEL. HE IS THE FORMER CLERK OF HOUSE OF COMMONS. HE IS THE PRINCIPAL CONSTITUTIONAL ADVISOR TO THE HOUSE OF COMMONS OF THE UNITED KINGDOM. AND ADVISOR ON ALL PRAYERS AND BUSINESSES. THE IS THE 50th PERSON TO HOLD YOUR ROLE. SOMETIMES I NEED HIM IN THE SENATE VIRGINIA. SIR DAVID HOSTED A 2019 COMMEMORATION DELEGATION IN 2016. HAS BEEN INTERESTED IN THE HISTORY JAMESTOWN. WE’RE HONORED TO WELCOME SIR DAVIDED TO OFFER REMARKS ON OUR INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND OUR IMPACT ON THE DEMOCRACY WORLDWIDE. SIR DAVID. [APPLAUSE]>>THANK YOU FOR THAT GENEROUS GREETING. I KNOW SOME OF YOU MUST HAVE DIFFICULTY SEEING ME. YOU CAN SHUT YOUR EYE, THERE’S NOTHING TO SEE. ON THIS DAY, ON THIS VERY DAY, 400 YEARS AGO, AND IN THIS PLACE, SOMETHING VERY SPECIAL HAPPENED. FIRST MEETING OF AN ELECTED ASSEMBLY IN WHAT WAS THEN THE NEW WORLD. IT WAS A REAL ASSEMBLY, NOT A CEREMONIAL MEETING LIKE THIS OR A RITUAL. ULTIMATELY PRODUCTIVE. SAT HERE AT THE HOTTEST TIME OF THE YEAR. HOT ENOUGH TO KILL ONE OF ITS MEMBERS. WE ALL NOW HAVE SOME IDEA WHAT THE WEATHER WOULD HAVE BEEN LIKE THROUGH THOSE HOT DAYS. A YEAR LATER, VERY SIMILAR ASSEMBLY WAS HELD IN BERMUDA. THIS EVENT OF 400 YEARS AGO NEEDS TO BE CELEBRATED AND ACKNOWLEDGED. BECAUSE IT IS IMPORTANT NOT ONLY TO YOU ALL HERE IN VIRGINIA, NOT ONLY THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES AND ALL STATE LEGISLATORS WHICH GIVE YOUR COUNTRIES ITS NAME BUT THROUGHOUT THE WORLD, WHEREVER THE IDEA HAS TAKEN ROOT THAT PEOPLE WISH TO BE GOVERNED BY LAWS MADE BY THEIR OWN ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES. THAT IS REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY. REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY IS NOT A PERFECT SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT. IT’S NOT THE RULE OF THE SAINTS. NOT EVEN IN NEW ENGLAND. THE 22 BURGESSES WHO GATHERED HERE 400 YEARS AGO WERE NOT EXCEPTIONALLY RIGHTEOUS OR UP RIGHT MEN. THEY WERE ALL MEN. THEY WERE LIABLE TO ALL THE FRAILTIES SHOWN BY THEIR SUCCESSORS IN ELECTED ASSEMBLIES OVER THE CENTURIES THAT FOLLOWED AND ALL OVER THE WORLD. BUT THE IDEAL OF REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY FIRST EXPRESSED 2500 YEARS AGO AND HERE AGAIN IN JAMESTOWN, 400 YEARS AGO, HAS SURVIVED THOSE CENTURIES OF BRUISING CONTACT WITH REAL PEOPLE. THE JAMESTOWN ASSEMBLY WAS THE FIRST CHILD OF WESTMINSTER AND FIRST CHILD OCCUPIES VERY SPECIAL PLACE IN A PARENT’S HEART. YOU HAVE DESCENDENTS ACROSS THE UNITED STATES SIBLINGS TO THE NORTH IN CANADIAN CENTRAL AND LATIN AMERICA, ACROSS AFRICA AND ASIA AND AS FAR AS AUSTRALIA AND OCEANA. THERE ARE OVER 170 MEMBERS OF THE INTERPARLIAMENTARY UNION. THAT’S THE UNION OF PARLIAMENTS AND ASSEMBLIES. IN THE GREENLAND HAS A PARLIAMENT. AT 64 DEGREES NORTH AND 52 DEGREES SOUTH IS THE WORLD SMALLEST PARLIAMENT, THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF THE FORKLAND ISLANDS. THIS MEETS IN — WHICH MEETS IN A BUILDING SMALLER THAN THIS. IT HAS EIGHT ELECTED MEMBERS BUT A DEMOCRATIC TRADITION AS I’VE EXPERIENCED. THIS IDEA OBSTRUCTED BY AUTHORITARIANS RESISTED BY ELITES, MOCKED BY CYNICS, SOMETIMES INSULTED, BELITTLED OR BULLIED, BUT AGAIN AND AGAIN, IT RISES THE IDEA OF A FREELY ELECTED REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY WHEREVER PEOPLE SEEK FREEDOM. IN THE 1950s AND 1960s, IT HAPPENED IN THE FORMER EUROPEAN COLONIES IN AFRICA AND ASIA. IN THE 1990s, IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE IN THE COUNTRIES FREED FROM CONTROL. MOST RECENTLY IN THE COUNTRIES OF THE ARAB SPRING AND IN BURMA. AS WE MEET ON THE STREETS OF HONG KONG, THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL IS THE PRINCIPLE DEMAND OF DEMONSTRATORS. IN SUDAN PEOPLE ARE FIGHTING AND DYING FOR AN ASSEMBLY. THEY HAVE ONE SIMPLE REMEDY FOR WHICH THOUSANDS FOUGHT AND DIED OVER THE YEARS TO ELECT THEIR OWN REPRESENTATIVES AND ASSISTING THOSE DEMANDS IS AND SHOULD BE A COMMON ENDEAVOR BETWEEN THE GREAT REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACIES FOUR AMONG THEM IS UNITED STATES AND UNITED KINGDOM. IT IS NOT AND IT NEVER WAS QUITE THAT SIMPLE. AS A DESCENDENT OF THE BRITISH EMANCIPATOR, I’M ONLY AWARE, YOU’RE MARKING HERE THE ARRIVAL 400 YEARS AGO OF THE FIRST ENSLAVED AFRICAN MEN AND WOMEN IN VIRGINIA. IN 1619 WAS THERE NO REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY FOR VIRGINIA’S WOMEN. NOR WAS THERE JUSTICE FOR THOSE WHO ALREADY OCCUPIED THE LAND. HAVING AN ASSEMBLY DID NOT AND COULD NOT EVEN BEGIN TO WRITE THOSE WRONGS. WE ALSO KNOW THAT AROUND THE WORLD REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY IS UNDER ATTACK FROM MANY DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS. IT WILL NOT SURVIVE ON ITS OWN UNLESS IT IS DEFENDED AND SUSTAINED AND IF NEED BE CONSTRUCTIVELY CRITICIZED BY ENGAGED CITIZENS WHICH MEANS US. ASSEMBLIES ARE DIFFERENT IN FORM TO JAMESTOWN IN 1619, MANY HAVE PROFESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVES AND STAFF SOPHISTICATED, PURPOSE-BUILT BUILDINGS, TEMPLES AND DEMOCRACIES SUCH AS JEFFERSON’S WONDERFUL CAPITOL IN RICHMOND. THEY ARE NOT DIFFERENT IN SUBSTANCE AND THE MEETING HERE, 400 YEARS AGO OF TWO DOZEN HOT AND BOTHERED EARLY SETTLERS IN THIS LITTLE CHURCH, MARKS THE HUMBLE START OF A VERY BIG IDEA THAT THE BEST FORM OF GOVERNMENT IS A REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY AND THAT THIS IS THE BEST PROTECTION AGAINST TYRANNY AND ARBITRARY GOVERNMENT. THAT’S WHY I’M PROFOUNDLY HONORED TO BE BRINGING YOU GREETINGS FROM THE MOTHER OF PARLIAMENT FROM THE 1619 GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF VIRGINIA, ITS ELDEST CHILD. JAMESTOWN ECHOES THAT SITE OF FREEDOM AND THE RULE OF LAW. SO FRIDAY, 30th OF JULY, 1619 WAS A VERY SPECIAL DAY AND SO IS TODAY. THANK YOU. [APPLAUSE]>>SIR DAVID, THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR SHARING THOSE INCITEFUL REMARKS. I HAD A NUMBER OF TAKE AWAYS. THE ONE THAT STOOD OUT IF MY MIND, THE FALKLAND ISLANDS AND REDUCE OUR LEGISLATURE TO EIGHT MEMBERS. I’M TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHO THE OTHER SEVEN WILL BE. [LAUGHTER] IT IS MY PLEASURE NOW TO INTRODUCE A VERY DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN AND FRIEND OF MINE FOR MANY YEARS. GOVERNOR RALPH NORTHAM HAVE KNOWN EACH OTHER FOR YEARS. WE SHARE AN ALMA MATER. SOMETIMES KNOWN AS VIRGINIA MILITARY INSTITUTE. OUR PROFESSIONAL INTEREST TOOK US IN DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS IN LIFE. GOVERNOR NORTHAM WENT ON TO BE RECOGNIZED AS A NEUROLOGIST, SERVING OUR COUNTRY AS A DOCTOR AS YOU STRUGGLE TO BE A SMALLTOWN COUNTRY LAWYER. OUR CAREERS CIRCLED BACK TOWARDS EACH OTHER AND IT BECAUSE OF PUBLICLY ELECTED SERVICE. THAT FOLLOWS A PATTERN THAT BEGAN 400 YEARS AGO AT JAMESTOWN. BACK THEN, EVERYONE KNEW ARCHAEA EACHOTHER FOR BETTER OR WORSE. THEY KNEW EACH OTHER’S STRENGTHS, HABITS THEIR INCLINATIONS. ALL THE ATTRIBUTESES THAT GO INTO THE HUMAN CHARACTER AND SHAPE OF OUR PERSONAL CONDUCT. PERSONALLY I THINK VMI DID A WORLD OF GOOD FOR PO BOTH — BOH OF US. EVERYONE GETS SHOVED IN A SAME SPACE. DISCIPLINE IS IMPOSED UPON YOU. TRADITION IS IN YOUR BRAIN AND BEGIN TO REALIZE THAT HUMAN LEADERSHIP TAKES MANY FORMS AS DO HUMAN IDEAS. ULTIMATELY, A DEMOCRACY YOU MUST WORK OUT YOUR DIFFERENCES, HAVE A WORKABLE SYSTEM GROUNDED ON SOUND PRINCIPLE, ORDERED BY TRIED AND TRUE VITALLY IMPORTANT TO THAT EFFORT. PARTISAN RHETORIC IS A DISTRACTION NO MATTER FROM WHOM IT COMES. GOVERNOR NORTHAM WOULD AGREE THAT WE SHOULD BE RESPECTFUL TO OUR VIRGINIA ANCESTORS THAT ENABLES OUR PEOPLE, OUR CITIZENS AND AMERICANS TO RESOLVE DISPUTES REMAIN SAFE AND PROSPER. WE ARE ALL BENEFICIARIES OF THAT LEGACY. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, IT IS MY DISTINGUISHED HONOR AND PLEASURE TO INTRODUCE TO YOU HIS EXCELLENCY, 73rd GOVERNOR OF COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, ROBERT S. NORTHAM. [APPLAUSE]>>PLEASE BE SEATED. GOOD MORNING. IT IS A TREMENDOUS PRIVILEGE TO BE WITH YOU ALL OF YOU HERE TODAY. SENATOR NORMENT THANK YOU FOR THAT KIND INTRODUCTION. IT IS ALSO GOOD TO SEE OUR LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR, JUSTIN FAIRFAX, THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE AND OUR ATTORNEY GENERAL, AND TO ALL OUR LEGISLATORS, THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENDANCE THIS MORNING AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR LEADERSHIP IN VIRGINIA. AS WAS SAID, I SERVED IN THE STATE SENATE ALONG WITH MY FRIEND SENATOR NORMENT AND PRESIDED OVER THAT BODY AS LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR. THAT GAVE ME A DEEP APPRECIATION FOR THE HISTORY OF THE SENATE AS PART OF OUR GENERAL ASSEMBLY. I APPRECIAE SENATOR NORMENT’S SERVICE AND LEADERSHIP IN THE SENATE. I FEEL PRIVILEGED TO BE HERE WITH HIM AND ALL OF YOU TODAY COMMEMORATING SUCH IMPORTANT EVENTS IN OUR STATE AND OUR COUNTRY’S HISTORY. WE’RE GATHERED HERE THIS MORNING AT THE SPOT WHERE 400 YEARS AGO, REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY, BEGAN ON THIS CONTINENT. WE LOOK BACK ACROSS THESE 400 YEARS AS THE COLONY OF JAMESTOWN AND FROM OUR PERSPECTIVE, IN 2019, IT IS HARD TO IMAGINE WHAT LIFE WAS LIKE IN THAT COLONY. IT’S HARD TO IMAGINE NOW WHEN THE IDEAS OF AMERICA AND DEMOCRACY ARE SO ROOTED IN OUR MINDS THAT JAMESTOWN WAS AN EXPERIMENT THAT NEARLY FAILED. IT WAS NOT FOUNDED TO GIVE BIRTH TO A NEW WAY OF GOVERNING OR TO BE AN I INCUBATOR FOR LA LOFTY . IT WAS PLAGUED FROM A HIGH DEATH RATE AND A MARTIAL LAW STYLE OF GOVERNMENT THAT DIDN’T MAKE VIRGINIA ATTRACTIVE PLACE TO COME. POTENTIAL COLONIST WERE NOT EAGER TO GO TO VIRGINIA. TO SAVE THE COLONY, THE MEN RUNNING THE VIRGINIA COMPANY STARTED TO MAKE CHANGES TO MAKE THE PLACE MORE ATTRACTIVE WITH IDEAS PLANTED BY SIR EDWIN SANDS, THEY STARTED TALKING ABOUT A DIFFERENT SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT. THEY DIRECTED THE CREATION A GENERAL ASSEMBLY. ON THIS VERY DAY, JULY 30, 1619, 22 BURGESSES MET HERE IN THIS PLACE. THIS CHURCH STANDS ON THE FOUNDATIONS ON THE ONE WHICH THEY MET. LIKE TODAY IT WAS HOT. IT WAS HUMID. FOR SIX DAYS, THEY SWEATED OUT THE DETAILS WHAT WILL BECOME OUR FIRST REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT. THEY BUILT A FRAMEWORK TO SETTLE DISPUTES, PASS LAWS AND MANAGE THE COLONY THROUGH DISCUSSION AND LEGISLATION. OVER THE YEARS, AND THE CENTURIES AS THE JAMESTOWN COLONY AND THE PLYMOUTH COLONY THEN BECAME STA STATES OF GOVERNMENT. THEY SPREAD OUT FROM THIS VERY GROUND HERE IN JAMESTOWN. BUT THAT’S NOT THE ONLY THING THAT SPREAD FROM THIS PLACE. WHILE WE MARK THIS HISTORY, WE MUST ALSO REMEMBER THAT IT IS MORE COMPLEX. THE STORY OF VIRGINIA IS RATTED IN THE SIMULTANEOUS PURSUIT OF BOTH LIBERTY AND ENSLAVEMENT. BECAUSE, JUST A FEW WEEKS AFTER THAT FIRST GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN 1619, A SHIP ARRIVED CARRYING STOLEN AFRICAN PEOPLE TAKEN FROM ANGOLA. HERE, THEY WERE SOLD AND SOLD AGAIN. THE FIRST ENSLAVED AFRICANS PEOPLE WHO WERE NOT GRANTED THE SAME FREEDOMS THAT WOULD BE GIVEN TO WHITE LAND OWNING COLONISTS. HERE THOSE ENSLAVED AFRICANS JOINED THOUSANDS OF VIRGINIA’S FIRST PEOPLE THE MEMBER OF THE VIRGINIA INDIAN TRIBES WHO WOULD ALSO WAIT CENTURIES TO HAVE THE SAME FREEDOMS. TODAY, AS WE HOLD THESE COMMEMORATIONS OF THE FIRST REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY IN THE FREE WORLD, WE HAVE TO REMEMBER WHO IT INCLUDED AND WHO IT DID NOT. THAT’S THE PARADOX OF VIRGINIA OF AMERICA AND OF OUR REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY. A FULL ACCOUNTING DEMANDS THAT WE CONFRONT AND DISCUSS THOSE ASPECTS OF OUR HISTORY AND IT DEMANDS THAT WE LOOK NOT JUST TO APPOINT IN TIME 400 YEARS IN THE PAST BUT AT HOW OUR COMMONWEALTH AND OUR COUNTRY EVOLVED OVER THE COURSE OF THOSE FOUR CENTURIES. IN MANY WAYS, VIRGINIA TODAY REPRESENTS THE BEST OF WHAT IT MEANS TO BE AMERICAN. WE KNOW OUR DIVERSITY IS OUR STRENGTH AND WE WELCOME IMMIGRANTS, REFUGEES AND ALL WHO LIKE THOSE WHO STOOD ON THIS SPOT 400 YEARS AGO, COME TO VIRGINIA IN SEARCH OF A BETTER LIFE. OUR DOORS ARE OPEN AND OUR LIGHTS ARE ON. NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE, NO MATTER WHO YOU LOVE, NO MATTER WHERE YOU CAME FROM, YOU ARE WELCOME IN VIRGINIA. THERE’S NOTHING, NOTHING, MORE AMERICAN THAN THAT. EVEN AS WE STAND HERE TODAY PROUD OF THE PROGRESS WE’VE MADE, LET’S NOT FORGET WE HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO. THERE ARE A NUMBER OF INEQUITIES THAT CONTINUE TO EXIST IN VIRGINIA AND BEYOND. INEQUITIES IN ACCESS TO A WO WORLD-CLASS EDUCATION, INEQUITIES TO HEALTHCARE AND INEQUITIES TO BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES TOth JUSTICE SYSTEM AND TO THE VOTING BOOTH. A TRUE COMMEMORATION OF THE FOUNDING OF OUR DEMOCRACY RARES US TO EXAMINE HOW WE LIVED UP TO OUR IDEALS, OR FAILED TO DO SO. IT RARES WE DO THIS WORK NOT JUST TODAY BUT EVERYDAY AND NOT JUST WITH BIG SPEECHES OR COMMEMORATIVE EVENTS, BUT WITH ACTION. I WANT TO THANK THE PEOPLE AND ORGANIZATIONS WHO WORKED TO CREATE THIS EVENT TODAY. PRESERVATION VIRGINIA, JAMESTOWN YORKTOWN FOUNDATION AND THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE. I WANT TO THANK ALL OF THOSE PEOPLE WHO WORKED TO PRESERVE THESE SITES HERE AT JAMESTOWN AND COMFORT NOW FOR FORT MONROE. THE ARCHAEOLOGIST AND HISTORIANS WORK TO UNDERSTAND WHAT HAPPENED HERE FROM THE FOOD PEOPLE ATE TO THE LAWS THEY PASSED. I HAVE ALWAYS BELIEVED THAT IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHERE YOU COME FROM, YOU CAN’T KNOW WHERE YOU GOING. TO UNDERSTAND AMERICA, AS IT IS TODAY, AS IT WILL BE TOMORROW, WE HAVE TO UNDERSTAND AMERICA AS IT WAS YESTERDAY. THIS SITE IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF THAT UNDERSTANDING. I’M GRATEFUL THAT WE COME TOGETHER TO TALK ABOUT ALL OF THOSE ASPECTS OF OUR HISTORY AND THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS PLACE AND THOSE EVENTS 400 YEARS AGO. THEY MADE US WHAT WE ARE TODAY AND THEY CONTINUE TO GUIDE US AS WE WORK TOWARDS A BETTER, A FAIRER AND A MORE INCLUSIVE TOMORROW. MAY GOD BE WITH ALL OF YOU. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. [APPLAUSE]>>GOVERNOR NORTHAM THANK YOU VERY MUCH. LISTENED TO SOME OF THE COMMENTS THAT YOU MADE. I WOULD REMIND EVERYONE THAT THE MONIKER, THE THEME OF THIS COMMEMORATION WAS AS A RESULT OF A LOT OF DELIBERATE THOUGHT. IT WAS AMERICAN EVOLUTION. WE CONTINUE TO EVOLVE OUR FORM OF REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY. WE CONTINUE TO EVOLVE THE RIGHTS AND RESPECT OF MINORITIES OF ALL GENDER AND ALL RACES. THE CHAIR NEXT TO ME REGRETFULLY IS VACANT TODAY. MY FRIEND DATING BACK TO BEFORE 2007, CHIEF ANN RICHARDSON COULD NOT BE WITH US. SHE WAS GOING TO SHARE WITH US SITTING THERE, I LOOKED AT SOME OF THE REMARKS SHE WOULD HAVE MADE. I EXTRACTED THIS PART FROM IT. SHE WOULD HAVE SAID, MAY WE ALL BE UNITED AS BROTHERS AND SISTERS, NOT BECAUSE OF OUR DIFFERENCES BUT BECAUSE OF OUR LOVE FOR OUR GOD, OUR COUNTRY AND OUR COMMONWEALTH. THANK YOU ANN. CHANGING DIRECTIONS LITTLE BIT. TODAY WE HAVE MEMBERS OF OUR CURRENT DAY VIRGINIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY WHO REPRESENT THE BURROUGHS OF THE ORIGINAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY WHO WILL OFFER SOME REFLECTIONS. FIRST, MY FRIEND SPEAKER CURT COX OF THE VIRGINIA OUT OF DELEGATES. HE WILL SUBSEQUENTLY BE FOLLOWED BY SENATOR MONTY MASON, MY COMPATRIOT HERE IN THE HISTORIC TRIANGLE WHO REPRESENTS THE BURROUGHS JAMES CITY — MR. SPEAKER? [APPLAUSE]>>I WILL GIVE A FEW REFLECTIONS. I HAVE TO SAY THIS. I FEEL LIKE WE’RE THE MOST BLESSED PEOPLE IN VIRGINIA. IT’S A BEAUTIFUL DAY. 35 YEARS AGO WHEN I STARTED AS A SCHOOL TEACHER, I COULD NOT IMAGINE STANDING HERE TODAY. IT’S AN INCREDIBLE REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY. GOVERNOR, THANK YOU FOR YOUR WORDS. IT’S A TRUE SENSE OF LEGISLATURE. WHEN I THINK ABOUT VIRGINIA AND HOW BLESSED WE ARE, WE SHOULD BE THANKFUL. FROM OUR REMARKS. HERE’S THE WONDERFUL THING ABOUT VIRGINIA. 400 YEARS LATER, DOWN THE ROAD OF HISTORY, DESPITE THE GROWTH IN POPULATION, DEVELOPMENT OF CITIES, SUBURBS, ROADS, RAILWAYS AND AIRPORTS, YOU MAY FIND SPOTS PARTICULARLY ALONG THE RIVERS WHERE THINGS HAVE HARDLY CHANGED AT ALL. THAT’S WHAT I WOULD SAY ABOUT THE DISTRICT I REPRESENT. IT’S MODERN AND GROWING. YOU CAN STRADDLE THE CENTURIES WITH LITTLE EFFORT. YOU MAY REACH BACK THROUGH TIME AND ACQUIRE GUIDANCE FOR THE FUTURE. THE MORE YOU LOOK, THE MORE YOU EXAMINE THE PAST, THE MORE ADVANTAGES YOU GIVE YOURSELF TO ENGAGE IN THE CHALLENGES TODAY. I’VE BEEN TELLING MY STUDENTS THAT MORE OR LESS, SINCE I FIRST WALKED IN A CLASSROOM, THE EARLY DAYS OF A FIRST SETTLEMENT WERE ROUGH. THEY WERE FULL OF PHYSICAL DANGERS. LIFE EXPECTANCY WAS ABBREVIATING. IT WAS A YOUNG POPULATION AND MOSTLY MALE BETWEEN THE AGES OF 16 AND 25. FEW CHILDREN KNEW THEIR GRANDPARENTS FOR THE NATIVE AMERICANS — STILL THE INDIANS HAD FLEXIBILITY. TRIBES WERE OFTEN MOVING WITHIN THE REGION FROM SEASON TO SEASON IN ORDER TO CULTIVATE NEW LAND AND FIND GAIN. THE LAND WAS MANAGED. THE INCI — THERE WERE NO DOMESTICATED ANIMALS OR SICK DOGS. THERE WERE NO FENCES. WHEN THE SETTLERS BEGAN ARRIVING THE INDIANS COULD ADJUST BUT ONLY UP TO A POINT THEY WANTED TO ADJUST. INITIALLY, THEY DO NOT SEE THE SSETTLERS LASTING LONG. TODAY YOU CAN LEAP BACK AND FORTH ACROSS THE CENTURIES. WE W BUILD BRIDGES. 80 MILES UP THE JAMES RIVER FROM TH ORIGINAL SETTLEMENT. THIS IS THE SECOND SETTLEMENT AND IT WAS NAMED KING JAMES I. IT IS OPEN TODAY AND TOMORROW AND MOST DAYS. YOU CAN VISIT, BUY A SOUVENIR, LEARN ABOUT AMERICA’S EARLY YEARS. ONE THING YOU WILL LEARN QUI QUICKLY, IGNOR — GOVERNANCE OFE SETTLEMENT WAS DIFFICULT. LEADERSHIP OR SYSTEM FAILED TO. TWO WORDS ON THAT SUBJECT, NATHANIEL BACON. THERE’S REASON WHY HE’S MEMORIALIZED IN THE VIRGINIA STATE CAPITOL THIS DAY. ECHOES THROUGH THE CENTURIES. WHAT YOU FIND RIGHT FROM THE BEGINNING IS A STRUGGLE TO COMBINE LEADERSHIP AND ACCOUNTABILITY. DID NOT ALWAYS WORK. ADJUSTMENTS DRAMATIC ADJUSTMENTS WERE OFTEN MADE. YOU SEE THAT PROCESS IS DEMOCRACY GAINED A FOOTHOLD PLAYED OUT OVER THE CENTURIES ALONG THE JAMES RIVER. CIVICS IS NOT A FIXED THING. IT IS CHANGEABLE AND FLEXIBLE AS HUMANITY ITSELF. IT WAS ONCE SAID WHEN IT CAME TO HISTORY, VIRGINIA WAS STRONG ON WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN AND WEAK ON WHAT IS. THERE’S SOME TRUTH TO THAT. SOMETIMES THERE WAS MORE SENSEMENT. THIS EVENT AN EXAMINATION OF OURSELVES AS MUCH AS COMMEMORATION OF OURSELVES CONTINUES OUR PROGRESS IN A MORE INCLUSIVE DIRECTION. THE PASSAGE THE EVOLUTION OF OUR COMMONWEALTH IS WORTH UNDERSTANDING. IN MY DISTRICT ALONG WITH MOST OF VIRGINIA, OFFERS ENDLESS OPPORTUNITIES TO LEARN. THANK YOU. [APPLAUSE]>>GOOD MORNING. IT’S A PRIVILEGE TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO ADDRESS THIS ASSEMBLY ON THIS MOMENTOUS OCCASION. REMARKABLE PEOPLE HAVE BEEN ARRIVING HERE FOR 400 YEARS. YOU CAN STACK ON ANOTHER 10,000 YEARS IF YOU INCLUDE NATIVE AMERICANS AS THE SPEAKER MENTIONED. WE ABSOLUTELY MUST. IT IS MADE FOR RICH AND DYNAMIC COMMUNITY. IF YOU GO BACK AND LOOK WHAT WAS HAPPENING 400 YEARS AGO, I DON’T SEE HOW IT GETS ANY MORE DYNAMIC OR BEWILDERING OR CONTRADICTORY OR EXCITING OR HISTORIC. JAMESTOWN NEARLY CAME TO NOTHING BUT IT SURVIVED TO CAUSE THE WORLD TO PIVOT IN WAYS THAT REMAIN A CORE CHALLENGE TO OUR NATION. THE INSTINCT FOR REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT WAS STRONG HERE. THE VIRGINIA COMPANY MAY HAVE OPENED THE DOOR TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY BUT IT REMAINED OPEN FOR EVER MORE. IT WAS NOT ALWAYS SO IN OTHER PARTS OF COLONIAL AMERICA. AFTER THE ENGLISH SEIZE THE COLONY CALLED NEW AMSTERDAM AND TURNED IT IN NEW YORK THE INSTINCT FOR ASSEMBLY DID NOT TAKE HOLD UNTIL END OF THE 17th CENTURY. A GOVERNOR STRICTLY RULED. NEW YORK GETS A FEW THINGS RIGHT TOO. THE GOVERNOR WAS INSTRUCTED TO TOLERATE ALL PEOPLE OF ALL RELIGIONS AND HE DOES SO. IN THE WORDS OF ONE HISTORIAN, NEW YORK BECOME ALSO WORLDLY, TOLERANT, UNTIDY TOWN QUITE WILLING TO ABSORB JUST ABOUT EVERYONE. THAT’S WHY I MENTIONED THIS. THE EARLY INCLINATIONS OF DIFFERENT COLONIES, THE WAY WE WERE STRUCTURED AND ORDERED RIGHT FROM THE BEGINNING ESTABLISHES ENDURING AND LASTING CHARACTERISTICS. DR. JIM HORN WRITTEN ABOUT THIS MAGNIFICENTLY LAST YEAR. IT’S ENTITLED “1619”. THE LEADERSHIP OF THE VIRGINIA COMPANY HAS HIS MINDSET TO “FASHION SOCIETY COMMITMENT TO ANGELO GOD’S WORLD AN ECONOMY BASED ON WIDE VARIETY OF CROPS AND TRADE AND PUBLIC WORKS THAT WOULD BENEFIT THE COMPANY AND THE MULTITUDES OF SETTLERS WHO WILL SHORTLY FLOCK TO THE COLONIES.” THEY WERE NOT INTERESTED IN SURVIVING THE INTENDED TO PROSPER. THAT WAS A POOR IDEA. YOU CAN SEE THAT WITHIN THAT CORE IDEA THE SUBSTANCE OF THINKING THAT STILL ANIMATES VIRGINIA TO THIS VERY DAY. JIM POINTS OUT, STRENUOUSLY ADVOCATED A COLONY DEVOTED TO THE PUBLIC. A COMMONWEALTH THAT WOULD BENEFIT ALL THOSE THAT VENTURED THEMSELVES OR THEIR MONEY AND WHICH REPRESENTED AN IMPROVEMENT ON ENGLISH SOCIETY, WITH RESPECT TO THE WELL BEING, MORAL AS WELL AS ECONOMIC OF THE PEOPLE. IT SOUNDS FAMILIAR. SANDS INTENDED THAT THE PSYCHO–COLONY WIL — SANDS INTENDED THAT THE — YOU CAN GO THROUGH JIM HORNS EXCELLENT COUNT OF 1619 AND READ OTHERS ABOUT THE SAME PERIOD. YOU’LL ENCOUNTER OVER AND OVER AGAIN, IDEAS THAT ENDURE. YOU WILL ALSO ENCOUNTER AND THIS IS THE PART THAT’S DIFFICULT TO STOMACH. YOU’LL ALSO ENCOUNTER IDEAS ON RACE AND ENSLAVSLAVEMENT. POLITICAL PARTICIPATION AND BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS THAT HAVE NO PLACE IN AMERICA. NOR SHOULD THEY HAVE ANY PLACE ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD. ANYWAY YOU CUT IT, THE GODLY PEOPLE OF JAMESTOWN DID UNGODLY THINGS. BUT THIS IS THE STORY AND IT IS OUR UNVARNISHED HISTORY. IT INSPIRES PRESERVATION. IT INSPIRES DENUNCIATION. WE LEARNED FROM BOTH. WE LEARNED FROM IT ALL AND WITH THIS COMMEMORATION, WE ARE INTENT UPON TELLING THE WHOLE STORY. I’M PRIVILEGED AND GRATEFUL TO REPRESENT THIS REGION. A COMMUNITY THAT STAYED INTERESTING FOR A LONG TIME. I THANK YOU FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION. THANK YOU FOR YOUR RECOGNITION OF THESE IMPORTANT MOMENTS. THANK YOU FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE THESE WORDS TODAY. [APPLAUSE]>>THANK YOU SENATOR MASON. I LIKE TO INVITE, REVEREND CHRISTOPHER EFFERSON. [APPLAUSE]>>UNDERSTAND SIR DAVID POINT OUT THAT THE LIGHT FROM BEHIND IS SOMETHING OF OF CHALLENGE. I WANT TO OFFER YOU THE SOLACE THAT IN MY CASE IT’S A HALO. [LAUGHTER] LET US STAND AND PRAY. GOD OF ADVENTURE AND SUBSTANCE, YOU CREATED ALL THAT IS AND ALL THAT WILL BE. WE OFFER YOU THANKS FOR THE WORK THAT YOU STARTED HERE IN THIS PLACE. YOU MADE US A PEOPLE. YOU INSPIRED AND INITIATED OUR REFERENCE TOWARDS THE PARTICIPATION OF ALL PEOPLE AND THE DECISIONS THAT GUIDE OUR NATION. REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT IN OUR LAND STARTED HERE. A VEHICLE OF FAIRNESS AND THE COMMON GOOD STARTED HERE. WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR THE PRINCIPLES THAT UNDERGIRD THIS WORK. YOU ARE THE GOD OF TRUTH AND WE MUST TELL THE TRUTH. SOME RELIED ON THESE SHORES SEEKING A BETTER LIFE. SOME ARRIVED HERE LOOKING FOR FREEDOM, SOME ARRIVED SEEKING ECONOMIC POSSIBILITIES. MEN AND WOMEN CAME HERE AS SEEKERS. THE ARRIVAL OF SOME MARKED THE END OF FREEDOM AND SHATTERED THE PRINCIPLES WE ESPOUSE, MAKING A MOCKERY OF OUR DREAM FOR THE HUMAN FAMILY. THE ORIGINAL INHABITANTS OF THIS LAND WERE PUSHED ASIDE AND SUFFERED AT THE HANDS OF OUR FOUR BEARERS. ALL PEOPLE ARE MADE IN YOUR IMAGE. AS WE REFLECT ON OUR COMBINATION, — BEGINNINGS, WE PRAY THAT WE MAY LEARN FROM OUR PAST AND PUT ON THE ARMOR LIGHT WE PRAY WE MAYBE SEEKERS IN OUR TIME. GIVE US A LONGING FOR EXPANSION AND OPPORTUNITY AND EQUALITY AND JUSTICE. WE GET CLAIM TO LOVE YOU WITHOUT LOVING OUR NEIGHBORS AS WE LOVE OURSELVES. WE PRAY THAT YOU WILL MOVE US AND GALVANIZE US WITH SUCH DEVINE LOVE. LIFE IS SHORT, WE DO NOT HAVE MUCH TIME TO GLADDEN THE HEARTS OF THOSE WHO TRAVEL THE WAY WITH US. BE SWIFT TO LOVE. MAKE HASTE TO BE KIND AND MAY THE DEVINE MYSTERY WHO IS BEYOND OUR ABILITY TO KNOW BUT MADE US AND WHO LOVES US AND WHO TRAVELS WITH US. BLESS US AND KEEP US IN PEACE. AMEN.>>THANK YOU REVEREND. BEFORE WE CONCLUDE, ON BEHALF OF THE COMMEMORATION, I WANT TO EXTEND OUR GENUINE APPRECIATION FOR THE APPEARANCE OF GOVERNOR RALPH NORTHAM, PRESIDING OFFICER OF THE SENATE WHO TRIES TO KEEP ME IN ORDER UNSUCCESSFUL. JUSTICE FAIRFAX AND COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA. WE HAVE A NUMBER OF LEGISLATORS HERE INCLUDING THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM OF THE SENATE, THE GENTLEMAN FROM BEDFORD, STEVE NEWMAN. I WANT TO THANK ALL THE LEGACY GROUPS HERE. I SAW A YOUNG LADY FROM THE DAR WHO IS LOOKING VERY PATRIOTIC THAT REMINDED THAT WE NEEDED TO EXTEND OUR APPRECIATION. I WANT TO THANK ALL OF THE MEMBERS OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY WHO ARE HERE AND WITH THAT AND THE APPROPRIATE BENEDICTION WE HEARD FROM REVEREND, WE WILL NOW ADJOURN AND CONTINUE COMMEMORATION ACTIVITIES OVER AT THE JAMESTOWN SETTLEMENT. I THANK YOU ALL FOR BEING HERE. [APPLAUSE] [BELL RINGING] [BELLS RINGING]>>GOOD MORNING. I’M CURT COX SPEAKER OF THE VIRGINIA HOUSE OF DELEGATES. I’M DELIGHTED TO WELCOME EVERYONE HERE AT JAMESTOWN SETTLEMENT AND THE RECREATED CHURCH IN JAMES FORT AND THOSE VIEWING THESE PROCEEDINGS ONLINE OR WATCHING FROM BEYOND TO THE 400th ANNIVERSARY TODAY. OF THE FIRST AND OLDEST CONTINUOUS REPRESENTATIVE LEGISLATURE BODY IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE. OUR FOREFATHERS DID ON THIS DAY, WE ASSEMBLED HERE AT THE BIRTHPLACE OF AMERICAN DEMOCRACY JAMESTOWN. FREEDOM IN THE FORM OF REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY BEGAN HERE IN VIRGINIA. THE UNFORGETTABLE AND INSPIRING EVENT THAT HAPPENED HERE WHAT BEGAN HERE HAS CHANGED NOT ONLY VIRGINIA AND NOT ONLY AMERICA BUT MUCH OF THE ENTIRE WORLD. SPECIAL OCCASIONS AND COMMEMORATIONS LIKE THIS OFFER US AN OPPORTUNITY TO PAUSE AND REFLECT ON THE HISTORY OF 1619 AS RETIRED SCHOOL TEACHER, I TAUGHT GOVERNMENT FOR ALMOST 30 YEARS. I KNOW THE YEAR 1619 WAS PIVOTAL AS WELL AS COMPLICATED. IN THE EVENTS THAT YEAR PROFOUNDLY SHAPED THE HISTORY OF AMERICA. THE YEAR 1619, SAW THE BEGINNING OF A HIGHS AND LOWS OF AMERICA WHICH INCLUDES THE NOTEWORTHY BIRTH OF OUR DEMOCRACY IN THE NEW WORLD AND OUR ONGOING EXPERIMENT IN REPRESENTATIVE SELF-GOVERNMENT. BUT ALSO THE ARRIVAL OF AFRICANS TO ENGLISH NORTH AMERICA WHICH TRAGICALLY WAS GENESIS OF THE SHAMEFUL EVIL THAT WAS SLAVERY. SPECIAL OCCASIONS LIKE THIS CHALLENGE US TO SEEK INSIGHT AND LEARN LESSONS REGARDING HOW OUR AMERICAN EVOLUTION HAS BROUGHT US HERE. FOR EXAMPLE, WE KNOW FROM KEEN OBSERVERS, WITH THOSE FIRST STEPS, WHICH ENGLISH-SPEAKING SETTLERS TOOK IN THIS NEW LAND OF VIRGINIA, INCENTURIES OF THIS VERY DAY, PROMISE, HOPE AND ACHIEVEMENT WITH DIFFICULTY, CONFLICT AND FAILURE. OUR VIRGINIA, OUR AMERICAN JOURNEY CONTINUES AS OUR NOBLE WORK TOWARDS FINDING AND FORGING TOGETHER A MORE PERFECT UNION. HISTORIC MILESTONE AND COMMEMORATION ALSO CAN ENCOURAGE US TO NOT JUST LOOK BACK UPON OUR STORIED PAST BUT TO LOOK FORWARD. TO LIFT UP OUR EYES AND ASPIRATIONS INTO ENVISION A VERY, BRIGHTER AND FAIR AND JUST FUTURE AS A PEOPLE AS A COMMONWEALTH AND AS A NATION. VIRGINIA IS MORE DEEPLY ROOTED IN AMERICA’S SOIL IN HISTORY THAT ANY PART OF OUR COUNTRY. THOSE OF US HONORED BY OUR FELLOW CITIZENS AND FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO BE ELECTED AS DELEGATES AND SENATORS IN THE VIRGINIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY ARE STEWARDS OF THAT GREAT INHERITANCE. WE ARE FORTUNATE TO BE AMONG THE MANY KEEPERS OF THE FLAME. OF AMERICAN DEMOCRACY IT WAS FIRST LED AND BEGAN HERE AT JAMESTOWN, VIRGINIA 400 YEARS AGO. BACK IN 1619, ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES FROM THE BURGESSES AREAS FROM FOR THE FIRST TIME GATHERS IN THE ASSEMBLY ALONG WITH GOVERNOR GEORGE YARDLEY AND COUNCIL OF LEADERS WHO ULTIMATELY WAS CHOSEN AS THE SEASPEAKER. THE PURPOSE WAS TO PASS LAWS TO BETTER MANAGE THE COLONY AND HOPEFULLY IMPROVEMENT PEOPLE’S IT WAS APT THAT THIS MORNING AT THE MERRILL LYNCH ON JAMESTOWN S BURROUGHS WERE PRESENT. JUST AS A PREDECESSORS WERE 400 YEARS AGO TODAY. THEY ALONG WITH OUR GOVERN, REPRESENTATIVE OF THE TRIBES WERE NATIVE TO THE SOIL NOW EXTINGUISHED LEADERS AND GUESTS WHERE REPRESENTATION OF THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE BEGAN. LIKE WISE, HERE IN JAMESTOWN SETTLEMENT IN THIS RECREATED CHURCH, WE ARE JOINED BY CERTAIN SUCCESSORS, REPRESENTING THE 11th MAJOR SETTLEMENT AREAS BUT ALSO WITH US ON THIS HISTORIC OCCASION ARE TWO LEADING PARTICIPANTS AND WELL-INFORMED WITNESSES WHO ATTENDED THAT VERY FIRST SESSION OF THE VIRGINIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY FOUR CENTURIES AGO. BY SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT, THE MARVELOUS WONDERS OF LIVING HISTORY, LET US NOW HEAR THE VOICES OF VIRGINIA COLONY’S FIRST GOVERNOR, GOVERNOR YARDLEY, FOLLOWED BY THE MORE IMPORTANT FIRST SPEAKER OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY, JOHN PORY.>>GOOD MORNING. DISTINGUISHED GUESTS, GENTLEMEN AND KIND LADIES. THERE’S ONLY BEEN A FEW YEARS PAST NOW SINCE I RETURNED TO VIRGINIA SPRING OF 1619. I BROUGHT WITH ME MY COMMISSION AS GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA AND A NEW SET OF INSTRUCTIONS FROM THE VIRGINIA COMPANY OF LONDON THAT IS COME TO BE KNOWN AS THE GREAT CHARTER WHICH WE HOPED WILL BRING STABILITY TO THIS COLONY WHO HAS BEEN SUFFERING UNDER MARTIAL LAW FOR NINE YEARS. THE HARSH HAND OF MARTIAL LAW, RATHER THAN HELP TO THE COLONY IS NOW A HINDRANCE. TO FURTHER THE COLONY’S GROWTH AND PROSPERITY, THE VIRGINIA COMPANY INSTRUCTED ME TO END MARTIAL LAW AND REINSTITUTE ENGLISH COMMON LAW AND JUSTICE IN THE COLONY. THE INSTRUCTIONS ALLOWED ME TO CALL FOR EACH OF THE 11 TOWNS AND PLANTATIONS ALONG THE RIVER TO SEND TWO REPRESENTATIVES HERE TO THE CAPITOL AT JAMESTOWN. WHERE KNOW WILL NEAT PASS LAWS ON THE GOVERNING OF THE COLONY. CITIZENS OF VIRGINIA NO LONGER HAD TO FEAR THE ARBITRARY DECISION OF COMPANY OFFICIALS FOR WE HAD BROUGHT ABOUT A FAMILIAR FORM OF GOVERNING HERE IN VIRGINIA. IN WHICH THEIR OWN INTEREST AND CONCERNS WOULD DRIVE LEGISLATION. AT THE COMPANY’S BEHEST DIVIDED LEGISLATIVE JUDICIAL POWER BETWEEN THE AUTHORITY OF THE GOVERNOR THE COUNSEL AND THIS NEW REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY MADE UP COLONISTS LIVING WHATTER IN VIRGINIA. THIS ASSEMBLY IS GOING TO SERVE AS A CHECK ON THE POWER AND BALANCE TO THE POWER OF MYSELF AND MY COUNSEL. IT IS MY BELIEF THAT THE CITIZENS OF VIRGINIA HAVE MOST CERTAINLY WELCOMED THIS METHOD OF ESTABLISHING LAWS GROUNDED IN ENGLISH COMMON LAW AND POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS INCLUDING THIS NEWLY FORMED REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY THAT WILL CONTINUE TO ATTEND TO THE AFFAIRS OF VIRGINIA FOR SOME TIME TO COME. TODAY AS WE MARK THAT FIRST MEETING OF THAT GENERAL ASSEMBLY THAT TOOK PLACE THE SAME DAY, SOME WOULD SAY AS NEAR AS MAYBE, WE HAVE BROUGHT VIRGINIA TO THE LAUDABLE FORM OF JUSTICE AND GOVERNMENT THAT WE ALL KNEW IN ENGLAND. I CALL UPON MY GOOD FRIEND AND COUNSELOR, A MAN THAT I APPOINTED SPEAKER FOR THAT FIRST MEETING EVER OUR GENERAL ASSEMBLY, MASTER JOHN PORY FOR HIS RECOLLECTIONS OF THAT GATHERING.>>THANK YOU GOVERNOR YARDLEY. I REMEMBER WHEN YOU AND I ALONG WITH FEW APPOINTED COUNSELORS ABOUT 20 ELECTED BURGESSES BEGAN MEETING TOGETHER ON THIS DATE JULY 30th. OUR FIRST LEGISLATIVE SESSION WAS HELD IN THE CHOIR OF THE CHURCH HERE AT JAMESTOWN. IT WAS THE MOST CONVENIENT PLACE WE COULD FIND TO SIT. IT IS TRUE THE GOVERNOR APPOINTED ME TO SERVE AS A SPEAKER FOR THE WHOLE ASSEMBLY. NOT BECAUSE OF MY KINSHIP TO HIS WIFE LEAD TEMPERANCE BUT RATHER, I WAS THE ONLY MEMBER OF THE ASSEMBLY THAT SERVEDS AN ELECT THE LAWMAKER IN THE HEADS OF COMMONS. I DREW UPON MY EXPERIENCE THERE TO ORGANIZE OUR NEW ASSEMBLY AND REDUCE ALL THE MATTERS PENDING BEFORE IT INTO A READY METHOD FOR THE GREATER EASE OF THE MEMBERS. THE FIRST TASK OF OUR PROCEEDINGS WAS TO REVIEW AND DISCUSS THE NEW CHARTER OF 16 AND 18. AFTER CLOSE EXAMINATION IN COMMITTEES, THIS CHARTER RECEIVED THE GENERAL ASSENT AND APPLAUSE OF THE WHOLE ASSEMBLY. T IS CERTAIN THE ENDING OF MARTIAL LAWS AND THE GOOD LAWNS WHO LONG LABOR THE HERE. GAVE US ALL ENCOURAGEMENT AND HOPE. ANOTHER GREAT TASK WAS TO PROPOSE THE BAIT AND VOTE UPON SUITABLE LAWSE LAWS OF WELFARE D SUITABLE GOVERNMENT OF THIS COMMONCOMMON — COMMONWEALTH. PREVIOUS COMPANY INSTRUCTIONS SENT FROM LONDON TO GOVERNORS HERE IN VIRGINIA WERE REVIEWED BY COMMITTEES. THOSE INSTRUCTIONS SAW FIT TO BE INTO NEW LAWS WERE FURTHER DEBATED. 18 OF THEM WERE GIVEN ONE REVIEW MORE AND THEN DID PASS THE FINAL CONSENT OF THE ASSEMBLY. I RECALL SEVERAL OF THESE LAWS DEALT WITH LABOR CONTRACTS AND THE PRODUCTION OF PARTICULAR COMMODITIES DEEM THE PROFITABLE BY THE VIRGINIA COMPANY. SECONDLY, ANOTHER 18 LAWS WERE DEBATED AND PASS THE WHICH ORIGINATED WITHIN THE MINDS OF THE PEOPLE LIVING AND WORKING HERE IN VIRGINIA. SEVERAL OF THESE LAWS PROMOTED REGULAR RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCES. OTHER LAWS SAFE DARTED THE PEACE AND REGULATED OUR TRADE WITH THE NATIVE INDIANS THAT WERE LIVING IN GREAT NUMBERS ALL AROUND US. IN SOME, OVER FIVE DAYS, 36 LAWS WERE CREATED FROM PREVIOUS INSTRUCTIONS AND FROM PROPOSALS MADE BY MANY OF THE BURGESSES WORKING BEHALF OF THE PEOPLE WHO ELECTED THEM. THESE NEW LAWS BROUGHT TO LIFE BY OUR LITTLE FLOCK DID TOUCH EVERY ONE LIVING HERE TO THE LIFE. OUR GENERAL ASSEMBLY PRODUCED SEVERAL PETITIONS TO FORWARD TO COMPANY LEADERS IN LONDON. MOSTLY TO CLARIFY SOME POINTS IN THE GREAT CHARTER TOUCHING UPON LAWN AND RENT AND INHERITANCE AND NEW SETTLERS. I INCLUDED THESE PETITIONS IN A DETAILED REPORT OF OUR LEGISLATIVE AND LEGAL PROCEEDINGS WHICH WERE — I WAS CHARGED WITH WRITING AND THEN SENDING ACROSS THE OCEAN. I’M TOLD THAT THIS REPORT, SOME 30 PAGES OF MANUSCRIPT, HAS SURVIVED AND IS NOW KNOWN TO ALL OF YOU. I CAN TESTIFY THAT FOR MANY YEARS, THE FUTURE OF OUR NEWLY GENERAL ASSEMBLY REMAINS VERY MUCH IN DOUBT. I WITNESSED THE CROWN, DISSOLVING THE CHARTER OF THE VIRGINIA COMPANY AND CONVERTING THIS LAWN INTO A CROWNED COLONY LESS THAN SIX YEARS AFTER OUR FIRST ASSEMBLY. YET, IT IS TRUE THAT PEOPLE LIVING HERE DID CAREFULLY NURTURE AND PROTECT THE VALUABLE RIGHT TO ELECT THEIR OWN BURGESSES AND MAINTAIN A GROWING VOICE IN THEIR OWN AFFAIRS. ON THIS SPECIAL DAY, MY CONCLUDING CHARGE TO ALL OF YOU IS THIS. KEEP THE PROMISES IN THE GREAT CHARTER AND IN GOVERNOR YARDLEY — FOLLOW THE RULES OF JUSTICE AND GOOD GOVERNMENT. FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE PEOPLE AND THE STRENGTH OF OUR COMMONWEALTH. [APPLAUSE]>>PULITZER PRIZE JOHN MEACHAM SAID THE OBLIGATION IS A STORY TELLER IS TO PUT YOURSELF IN THE SHOES OF THE PEOPLE ENGAGED IN THOSE EVENTS AND TRY TO FIGURE OUT WHAT THEY KNEW WHEN THEY KNEW IT. FROM THE PRESENTATIONS WE JUST WITNESSED, THE WISDOM OF THAT STATEMENT IS CLEAR, THANK YOU GOVERNOR YARDLEY AND SPEAKER PORY. I HOPE EVERYONE WILL FIND TIME OR MAKE TIME TO SEE JOHN PORY’S ORIGINAL 16 OR 19 MINUTES OF THE FIRST LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY THAT CONVENED FOUR CENTURIES AGO TODAY. FIRST TIME IN AMERICA IN 400 YEARS FROM THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES OF THE UNITED KINGDOM AND PUBLIC EXHIBIT FOR SEVERAL MONTHS HERE AT JAMESTOWN SETTLEMENT. NOW IT’S TRULY MY PLEASURE TO WELCOME OUR NEXT SPEAKER WHO ALSO HAVE A MARVELOUS WAY OF MAKING HISTORY COME ALIVE. JOHN MEACHAM IS A TALENTED AND EXTREMELY GIFTED HISTORIAN. HE’S ONE OF TODAY’S BIOGRAPHERS. HE’S WON PULITZER PRIZE FOR HIS ENDEAVORS AND HE’S A POPULAR BEST SELLING AUTHOR. JOHN MEACHAM WRITERS HELPED MANY PEOPLE YOUNG AND OLD FIND KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING AS WELL AS WISDOM AND PURPOSES IN HISTORY. PERHAPS BETTER STILL HE TELLS STORIES AS WELL AS ANY ONE WRITING ABOUT AMERICA. THE LEGACY OF JAMESTOWN 1619 IS COMPLEX. THROUGH AMERICAN EVOLUTION, THIS YEARLONG COMMEMORATION, WE HAVE BEEN WORKING HARD TO MAKE SURE IT’S EXAMINED THOUGHTFULLY, CAREFULLY IN FULL HISTORIC CONTEXT. HERE AS WITH OTHER ASPECTS OF HISTORY, WE CONFRONT CONTRADICTIONS AND STATED PUMPUMPS– PURPOSES AND REPORTED OUTCOMES. WE CAN ENSURE AND ARE SORTING THROUGH THIS AND TRYING TO BETTER EDUCATE US ALL. THAT’S WHY I HAVE AN HISTORIAN AS A STUDENT OF DISCERNING JOHN MEACHAM HERE TODAY FOR EDUCATION AND LEARNING. BARBARA TUCKMAN, REMARKED READERS WILL GO ALONG WITH YOU WHEN YOU TELLING STORIES ABOUT VERY WELL-KNOWN EVENTS IF YOU WRITE IT AS IT WAS LIVED. WITHOUT KNOWING THE END. WELL, WE ARE VERY MUCH IN THE FLOW OF HISTORY THESE DAYS AND NONE OF KNOWS THE END. THE STORIES OF AMERICAN HISTORY HAVE BEEN ILLUMINATED AND CLARIFIED ENRICHED BY OUR DISTINGUISHED GUEST AND NEXT SPEAKER. VERY MUCH MORE THAN ON THIS VERY IMPORTANT ANNIVERSARY IN AMERICAN HISTORY. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, PLEASE JOIN ME GIVING A WARM WELCOME TO MR. JOHN MEACHAM. [APPLAUSE]>>THANK YOU. I SAID TO THE SPEAKER, I CAN TELL HE WASN’T SWORN AS HE WENT THROUGH THAT. WHEREVER I THINK I’M THE MOST PREIMMINENT ANYTHING, MY MIND GOES BACK TO TEN YEARS AGO ON THE WASHINGTON MALL. I WAS ON MY WAY TO GIVE A TALK ABOUT ANDREW JACKSON. A WOMAN RAN UP TO ME, SHE SAID, OH MY GOD, IT’S YOU. I SAID, WELL YES. SHE SAID, YOUR BOOKS HAVE MEANT SO MUCH TO ME. WILL YOU WAIT RIGHT HERE, I’M GOING TO BUY YOUR BOOK AND HAVE YOU SIGN IT. SHE BROUGHT BACK JOHN GRISHAM’S LATEST NOVEL. AS A DISTINGUISHED GUEST, WHENEVER I THINK I’M THAT DISTINGUISHED, I REMIND MYSELF SOMEWHERE IN AMERICA, THERE’S A WOMAN WITH A FORGED COPY OF THE RUN AWAY JURY. THIS IS A SIGNIFICANT ACT OF DIVERSITY FOR YOU ALL TO HAVE A TENNESSEAN COME TO YOU ON THIS DAY. THE STORY THAT WE COMMEMORATE TODAY BEGAN WITH DREAMS OF GOD AND OF GOLD. BUT NOT NECESSARILY IN THAT ORDER. ISSUED BY KING JAMES I IN 1606 THE FIRST CHARTER OF VIRGINIA WAS 3805 WORDS LONG. 98 OF THOSE WORDS WERE ABOUT CARRYING RELIGION TO SUCH PEOPLE AS YET LIVE IN DARKNESS AND MISERABLE IGNORANCE OF THE TRUE KNOWLEDGE AND WORSHIP OF GOD. 97% OF THE CHARTER CONCERNED THE TAKING OF ALL THE LANDS, WOODS, SOIL, GROUNDS, HAVENS, PORTS, RIVERS, WATERS, FISHING, COMMODITIES AS WELL AS ORDERS TO DIG MINE AND SEARCH FOR ALL MANNER OF MINES OF GOLD, SILVER AND COPPER. GOD AND MAMMON PROPELLED MEN ACROSS THE SEAS. WE ARE HERE THIS MORNING IN LARGE MEASURE BECAUSE IN 1618, A FACTION WITHIN THE VIRGINIA COMPANY, LED BID SIR EDWARD SANDS SUCCESSFULLY ARGUED FOR A SERIES OF REFORMS RESULTING IN WHAT THE GOVERNOR AND SPEAKER WAS THE GREAT CHARTER. A SET OF INSTRUCTIONS SENT TO GOVERNOR YARDLEY TO BEGIN HIS TERM IN 1619. OFFICIALS OF THE COMPANY AUTHORIZED THE GOVERNOR TO OVERSEE THE SELECTION OF TWO MALE SETTLERS FROM EACH THE MAJOR AREAS TO ATTEND A GENERAL ASSEMBLY HERE IN JAMESTOWN. THIS NEW FORM OF GOVERNMENT DIVIDED POLITICAL AND JUDICIAL POWER BETWEEN THE GOVERNOR, COUNSEL APPOINTED BY THE VIRGINIA COMPANY AND THE NEW GENERAL ASSEMBLY. ASSEMBLY’S FIRST MEETING TOOK PLACE FOUR CENTURIES AGO. FROM TUESDAY JULY 30th THROUGH SUNDAY AUGUST 4th. OUR FRIEND JOHN PORY SECRETARY OF COLONY, SERVED AS SPEAKER ATTEND THE. REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT IN THE NEW WORLD BEGAN. AS ABRAHAM LINCOLN REMINDED US, WE CANNOT ESCAPE HISTORY. I’D ARGUE THAT WE SHOULD NOT WANT TO OR TRY TO. FOR BY OUR HERITAGE AND OUR HOPE, WE AS AMERICANS ARE CHARGED WITH A SACRED DUTY. TO FULFILL THE INJUNCTION THAT WHO MUCH IS GIVEN, MUCH IS EXPECTED. AS AMERICANS WE HAVE BEEN GIVEN MUCH AND THOSE GIFTS IN MANY WAYS ARE ROOTED HERE AT JAMESTOWN. GIFTS OF LIBERTY AND OPPORTUNITY, OF SELF-GOVERNMENT AND WHAT LINCOLN WAS TO CALL A FAIR CHANCE TO ENABLE US TO LEAD LIVES OF PROSPERITY AND PEACE. WHICH IS WHY THIS IS A GOOD MOMENT AND GOOD PLACE TO REFLECT ON WHO WE’VE BEEN AND WHO WE ARE AND WHERE WE MIGHT GO IN THE NEXT 400 YEARS. TO KNOW WHAT’S COME BEFORE IS TO ARMED AGAINST DESPAIR. IF THE MEN AND WOMEN OF THE PAST WITH ALL THEIR FLAWS AND LIMITATIONS AND AMBITIONS AND APPETITES COULD PRESS ON THROUGH IGNORANCE AND SUPERSTITION, THROUGH RACISM AND SEXISM THROUGH SELFISHNESS AND GREED. PERHAPS WE CAN TAKE A STEP TOWARDS PERFECT UNION. HISTORY HAS THE CAPACITY TO BRING US TOGETHER. FOR OUR STORY IS ULTIMATELY ONE OF OBSTACLES OVERCOME, CRISES RESOLVED AND FREEDOM EXPANDED. THE STORY, JAMESTOWN STORY AND AMERICA’S IS ABOUT THE BEST OF US AND YES, THE WORST OF US. THERE WAS WELCOMING NEW IMMIGRANTS TO OUR SHORES. YET, AND YET, SO MUCH OF AMERICAN HISTORY IS CAPTURED IN THE PHRASE, “AND YET.” IN THIS PLACE, REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT, GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE, NOD OF PRINCES BEGAN. THIS FIRST ASSEMBLY ON THE BANKS OF THE JAMES WAS THE FORERUNNER OF THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS OF THE OTHER 49 STATE LEGISLATURES AND OF ALL OTHER AMERICAN LEGISLATIVE BODIES. IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME, THIS FIRST PLANTING, BLOSSOMED INTO A WORLDWIDE OF DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS AND A FREE NATIONS. A DEVELOPMENT IN WHICH AMERICAN LEADERSHIP AND SACRIFICE PLAYED AND SHOULD PLAY AN INDISPENSIBLE ROLE. FIRST THANKSGIVING OF AMERICA CAN BE TRACED NOT TO THE YANKEES BUT TO SOUTHERNERS HERE IN VIRGINIA. WE SHOULD NOT REWARD. AFTER ALL, DON’T WE THROW BETTER PARTIES. AS A TENNESSEAN, I WOULD SAY SO, I’M A GRADUATE UNIVERSITY OF THE SOUTH. MY BEST FRIEND IN COLLEGE WAS FROM LYNCHBURG, VIRGINIA. JACK DANIELS. YOU KNOW HIM. YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN. WE SHOULD NOT SENTIMENTALIZE THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE. THE NATION IS FLAWED FROM THE BEGINNING. WE MUST BE HONEST ABOUT THAT. OUR HONESTY SHOULD LEAD US TO DO ALL THAT WE CAN DO TO BE ABOUT THE WORK OF JUSTICE. IN AUGUST 1619, THE WHITE LION A VESSEL ARRIVED AT PORT COMFORT VIRGINIA AT PRESENT DAY HAMPTON. THE SHIP HELD 20 AND ODD AFRICANS WHO WERE TRADED AND EXCHANGED FOR PROVISIONS. ORIGINALLY CAPTURED BY PORTUGUESE SLAVERS AND WEST CENTRAL AFRICA, THESE WERE THE FIRST RECORDED AFRICANS TO ARRIVE IN ENGLISH NORTH AMERICA. THEY WERE TREATED MUCH AS SLAVES WERE IN OTHER EUROPEAN COLONIES REGARDLESS OF AGE OR GENDER. THE IRONY WAS NOT LOST ON THE OLD WORLD. HOW IS IT THE ENGLISHMAN OF LETTER SAMUEL JOHNSON ASK, WE HEAR THE LOUDEST YELPS FROM LIBERTY FROM AMONG THE DRIVERS OF NEGROES. HOW IS IT? WELL, THIS IS HOW. WE ARE NOT PERFECT. WE ARE A FALLEN AND A SINFUL PEOPLE. WE GET SOME THINGS RIGHT AND SOME THINGS WRONG. WE TRY AND WE FAIL BUT WE MUST TRY AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN FOR ONLY IN TRIAL IS PROGRESS POSSIBLE. THE STORY OF AMERICA IS IN FACT THE STORY OF PROGRESS. AT OUR BEST, WE REACH OUT, WE LOOK AHEAD AND WE DREAM BIG. AT OUR BEST, WE CLOSE THE GAP BETWEEN THE IDEAL AND THE REAL. THE TEST OF A NATION, LIKE THE TEST OF AN INDIVIDUAL, CANNOT BE PERFECTION. FOR PERFECTION IS NOT POSSIBLE UNTIL THE ARRIVAL OF THE NEW HEAVEN AND THE NEW EARTH. THE TEST TURNS HOW OFTEN WE HEED OUR BETTER ANGELS RATHER THAN OUR WORST INSTINCTS. THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION, THE AMERICAN EVOLUTION, UNFOLDS STILL. THAT IS OUR BLESSING AND OUR BURDEN. EXTREMISM, RACISM, NATIVISM, XENOPHOBIA AND ISOLATIONISM DRIVEN B THE FEAR UNPHONE TEND TO SPIKE PERIODS OF DISTRESS. A PERIOD LIKE OUR OWN. AS WE GATHER HERE, FAITH AND REPRESENTATIVE INSTITUTIONS IS EBBING. REFLEXIVE PARTISANSHIP IS THE ORDER OF THE DAY. TOO MANY SEEM MORE INTERESTED IN PRODUCING HEAT THAN SHEDDING LIGHT. OUR POLITICS REWARDS THE CLINCHED FIST AND THE HARSH REMARK MORE THAN THE OPEN HAND AND THE WELCOMING WORD. YET, HISTORY TEACHES US THAT WE’VE ALWAYS GROWN STRONGER THE MORE WIDELY WE’VE OPENED OUR ARMS AND THE MORE GENEROUSLY WE’VE INTERPRETED THE MOST IMPORTANT SENTENCE EVER ORIGINALLY RENDERED IN ENGLISH. THOMAS JEFFERSON’S ASSERTION THAT ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL. I WILL SAY I’M CAREFUL ABOUT HYPERBOLIC CLAIMS IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, LARGELY BECAUSE OF THE OLD STORY ABOUT THE TEXAS SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATE WHO AGAINST TEACHING SPANISH IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND SAID ONE DAY, IF ENGLISH WAS GOOD ENOUGH FOR OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, IT’S GOOD ENOUGH FOR TEXAS. BUT THAT’S IN TEXAS. WE DON’T WORRY ABOUT THAT. I POINT OUT IF IT WEREN’T FOR TENNESSEE, TEXAS WILL BE PART OF SPAIN. THEY DON’T LIKE THAT AT ALL. WHEN I MET GEORGE W. BUSH, HE SAID THAT’S PRETTY FUNNY, JERK. [LAUGHTER] WE DON’T TEND TO BUILD MONUMENTS TO PEOPLE WHO BUILD WALLS. WE BUILD MONUMENTS TO PEOPLE WHO OPEN DOORS. WE HONOR LIBERATORS NOT CAPTORS. THE BATTLE BETWEEN HOPE AND FEAR BETWEEN WHAT’S RIGHT AND WHAT’S CONVENIENT, BETWEEN THE LARGER GOOD AND PERSONAL INTERESTS, THOSE ARE THE BATTLES THAT HAVE BEEN FOUGHT IN OUR COMMON EXPERIENCE FOR 400 YEARS. THEY ARE UNFOLD STILL. THE TERRAIN ON WHICH LIGHT AND DARK CONTEND, IT’S NOTHING LESS THAN THE ARENA OF THE SOUL. SO OCRATES BELIEVE THE THE SOUF THE REALITY. THE LORD GOD FORMED MAN DUST OF THE GROUND AND BREATHE INTO HIS NOSTRILS BREATH OF LIFE, MAN BECAME A LIVING SOUL. IN THE GREEK NEW TESTAMENT, JESUS SAYS GREATER LOVE HAS NO MAN THAN THIS THAN A MAN LAYS DOWN HIS LIFE FOR HE FRIEND. THE WORD FOR LIFE CAN BE TRANSLATED AS SOUL. OUR HISTORY IS DETERMINED OUR LIVES ARE DETERMINED BY THE OUTCOME OF THE CLASHES WITHIN OUR SOUL BOTH INDIVIDUAL AND NATIONAL BETWEEN LIBERTY AND SLAVERY, BETWEEN GRACE AND RAGE, BETWEEN KINDNESS AND CRUELTY. GOOD, GREAT GOOD DWELLS IN OUR NATIONAL SOUL. YET THERE IS EVIL TOO. GOOD AND EVIL, SUCH AS THE STUFF FROM THE UNFOLDING IT LIVES OF NATIONS DOWN THE CENTURIES. DURING A SECRET SUMMIT AT SEA IN AUGUST 1941, FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT AND WINSTON CHURCHILL ATTENDED A CHURCH SERVICE. THEY SANG — FDR REMARKED WE ARE CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS AWE W — ANDE WILL GO ON WITH GOD’S HELP. AND ON WE WENT. A PRODUCT OF THAT RENDEZVOUS WAS THE ATLANTIC CHARTER A STATEMENT OF WAR AIMS AND STRUGGLE AGAINST FASCISM AND TOTALITARIANISM. THERE MIGHT NOT HAVE BEEN ATLANTIC CHARTER AMID THE WINDS OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR. MORE BROADLY, WITHOUT A JAMESTOWN IN 1619, THERE MIGHT NOT HAVE BEEN CONCORD IN 1775 NOR PHILADELPHIA IN 1776 AND 1787. NOR SENECA FALLS IN 1848 NOR OMAHA BEACH IN 1944, NOR A SELMA IN 1965, NOR A STONEWALL IN 1969, NOR BERLIN IN 1989. IN OUR SEARCH, IN OUR HUNGER FOR A WAY FORWARD, THROUGH TWITTER AND TRIBALISM, I WOULD COMMEND THE UTILITY OF HISTORY, THE VERY KIND REMEMBRANCE WERE UNDERTAKING AT THIS HOUR. THE BEGINNING OF WISDOM LIES IN AN APPRECIATION OF THE PAST. WHICH IS WILLIAM FAULKNER TAUGHT US IT ISN’T DEAD. WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THE KIND OF HISTORY WE CONTEMPLATE TODAY. THAT THE PERFECT SHOULD NOT BE THE ENEMY OF THE GOOD. THAT COMPROMISE IS THE OXYGEN OF DEMOCRACY. THAT WE LEARN THE MOST FROM THOSE WHO CAME BEFORE NOT BY GUYING — GAZEING UP BY LOOKING THEM IN THE EYE AND TAKING THEM FOR WHAT THEY WERE. HUMAN. NOT AS IMPOSSIBLY PERFECT HEROES OR AS HOPELESSLY IRREDEEMABLE VILLAINS. KNOWING THE HISTORY OF FREEDOM IS NOT ONLY ILLUMINATING BUT ENABLING. A PERSON WHO UNDERSTANDS THE PAST AND INJUSTICE UNDERSTANDS THAT THE PATH OF CIVILIZATION IS ESSENTIALLY UPWARD. FORWARD, TO WHAT CHURCHILL ONCE CALLED THE BROAD AND SUN LIT UPLANDS. FOR ALL ITS FAULTS, JAMESTOWN WAS THE PLACE WHERE DIFFERENT CULTURES FIRST CAME TOGETHER IN ENGLISH NORTH AMERICA, SETTING THE STAGE FOR RACIAL, ETHNIC AND EVENTUALLY RELIGIOUS AND OTHER FORMS OF DIVERSITY. CAPITALISM AND PRIVATE ENTERPRISE ARE ROOTED HERE TOO. JAMESTOWN IS A MIRROR WHO WE WERE AND WHO WE ARE. DREAMERS AND DOERS CAME HERE AND THEY BUILT AND WE STAND IN THE LIGHT OF THEIR ACHIEVEMENT. IN OUR FINEST HOURS, AMERICA HAS BEEN ABOUT LIFE, IT’S BEEN ABOUT LIBERTY AND IT’S BEEN ABOUT THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS. NOT JUST FOR SOME BUT FOR ALL. IN THAT HISTORY, HISTORY ROOTED HERE IN THIS PLACE, LIES OUR HOPE. THANK YOU. [APPLAUSE]>>THANK YOU FOR THAT APPLAUSE. EVERYONE CERTAINLY WANTS TO THANK YOU FOR THOSE POWERFUL, ENGAGING AND INCREDIBLY HOPEFUL REMARKS. WE ARE GRATEFUL. SUCCESSFULLY DIDN’T KNOCK IT OFF THE PODIUM. WHAT WAS REALLY GOOD. THE JOINT ASSEMBLY WILL NOW COME TO ORDER. SERGEANT AT ARMS. [INDISCERNIBLE]>>THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL OF THE MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE AND SENATE REPRESENTING THE 11 ORIGINAL BURROUGHS.>>FROM FLOWER TO HUNDRED, MARTINS BRANDON, DELEGATE BREWER, SENATOR CHASE, SENATOR CAUSE GROVE, FROM THE — SPEAKER COX, FLOWER TO HUNDRED, MARTINS BRANDON ENAMORS HUNDRED, DELEGATE INGRAM. JAMES CITY, KEEKTAN SENATOR MASON. JAMES CITY AND MARTINS HUNDRED, DELEGATE MULLIN. JAMES CITY, KEEKTAN, LAWNS HUNDRED AND MARTINS HUNDRED, SENATOR NORMAN. JAMES CITY AND MARTINS HUNDRED, DELEGATE POGY. MR. SPEAKER, MEMBERS ARE PRESENT.>>GENERAL ASSEMBLY WILL STAND IN RECESS IN PROCESSION AND RECONVENE ON THE MALL. [SHOTS FIRING] [BAND MARCHING] [ BAND MARCHING ]>>JOINT ASSEMBLY WILL COME TO ORDER. MEMBERS WILL RISE AND LED IN PRAYER BY REVEREND SUSAN SEGAL AND EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF VIRGINIA. REMAIN STANDING FOR THE PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, SENATOR OF JAMES CITY COUNTY, SENATOR NORMAN AND NATIONAL ANTHEM BY JK GIDINGS. .>>GREAT IS YOUR NAME, AND ALL THE WORLD AND GREAT IS YOUR PRESENCE IN THE LAND. YOU WERE HERE WHEN NATIVE PEOPLE FIRST LIVED AND LOVED AND GOVERNED THEMSELVES. YOU WERE HERE WHEN THE FIRST ENGLISHMAN IMMIGRATED TO THE SHORES AND WHEN THEY HELD THEIR FIRST LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY 400 YEARS AGO. YOU WERE HERE WHEN THE FIRST ENGLISH WOMEN CHOSE TO COME AND JOINED THE MEN IN ESTABLISHING SETTLED COMMUNITIES. AND WHEN THE FIRST AFRICAN PEOPLE WERE BROUGHT HERE IN HOURING CIRCUMSTANCES AGAINST THEIR WILL, YOU WERE WITH OUR ANCESTORS, MEN AND WOMEN OF DIVERSE RACES AND CULTURES THROUGH TRIUMPH AND ADVERSITY, THROUGH HOPE AND FEAR IN THE SAME WAY THAT YOU WERE WITH YOUR PEOPLE THEN, BE WITH US NOW WHILE WE REMEMBER THE RELATIONSHIPS AND LEGACIES THAT HAVE SHAPED US AMERICANS TODAY. FORGIVE US FOR WAYS WE HAVE HURT AND EXPLOITED ONE ANOTHER. GIVE US THE COURAGE TO DO THE HARD WORK OF REAL RECONCILIATION AND BLESS OUR CONTINUED EFFORTS FOR JUSTICE, FREEDOM AND PEACE FOR EVERYONE IN THIS LAND, EVERYONE, EVERYONE, EVERYONE WITHOUT EXCEPTION. FOR YOU ARE A GOD THAT DOES WONDERS AND IN YOUR NAME WE SEE WONDERS. MAY IT BE SO AND MAY WE BE PARTNERS WITH YOU IN MAKING IT SO. AMEN >>PLEASE REMAIN STANDING IN THE DAYS OF SOMETIMES STRIDENT AND CONFLICTING POLITICAL VIEWS, THERE’S ONE THING THAT ALL AMERICANS COULD REMAIN UNITED ON. IF YOU WOULD PLEASE JOIN ME TO PLEDGING THE ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG OF OUR UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, AND TO THE REPUBLIC FOR WHICH IT STANDS, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, IN THE DIVISIBLE WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL.>>O SAY CAN YOU SEE, BY THE DAWN’S EARLY LIGHT ♪ WHAT SO PROUDLY WE HAILED, AT THE TWILIGHT’S LAST GLEAMING ♪ WHO’S BROAD STRIPES AND BRIGHT STARS ♪ THROUGH THE PERILOUS FIGHT ♪ FOR THE RAMPARTS WE WATCHED ♪ WERE SO GALLANTLY STREAMING ♪ AND THE ROCKETS RED GLARE, THE BOMBS BURSTING IN AIR ♪ GAVE PROOF THROUGH THE NIGHT ♪ THAT OUR FLAG WAS STILL THERE ♪ O SAY DOES THAT STAR-SPANGLED BANNER YET WAVE ♪ FOR THE LAND OF THE FREE ♪ AND THE HOME OF THE BRAVE ♪ [ APPLAUSE ] >>IF EVERYONE WILL PLEASE BE SEATED. WHAT A PERFECTLY MOVING WAY. EARLIER TODAY, GOVERNOR NORMAN AND OTHERS OBSERVED THIS PORNOICATION WITH THE PROGRAM IN THE 1907 RECONSTRUCTIVE CHURCH HISTORIC JAMESTOWN. THEN JUST A FEW MOMENTS AGO, MANY OF US SAT NEARBY IN A MORE PRIMITIVE STRUCTURE, RECREATED TO REPLICATE THE CHURCH IN JAMES FORT AROUND 1614. THE STRUCTURES AND CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH THE VIRGINIA JEN ASSEMBLY FIRST MET MAY HAVE BEEN PRIMITIVE TO OUR STANDARDS, BUT THE DYNAMIC, MODEL, DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT THAT BEGAN HERE IN JAMESTOWN 400 YEARS AGO IN THE VERY DAY WAS ANYTHING BUT. FOR THE FIRST TIME IN VIRGINIA, FREE ENGLISHMEN BROUGHT THEIR CONCERNS TO A GATHERING OF THEIR PEERS, THE FIRST REPRESENTATIVE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE AND IT ALL BEGAN RIGHT HERE IN JAMESTOWN, VIRGINIA, FIRST CAPITOL. IN 1699, VIRGINIA’S CAPITOL MOVED FROM JAMESTOWN TO MIDDLE PLANTATION, WILLIAMSBURG, IT IS KNOWN TODAY. THEN IN 1780, THE STATE CAPITOL MOVED TO RICHMOND. TODAY, THE VIRGINIA HOUSE OF DELEGATES AND THE SENATE OF VIRGINIA CONTINUE WORKING TO IMPROVE BOTH THE LIVES AND LIVELIHOODS OF ALL VIRGINIIANS IN THOMAS JEFFERSON’S BEAUTIFUL CAPITOL BUILDING. THE LOGO BEHIND US AND ABOVE US UNDER SCORES THAT CONTINUITY. IN 2007, AMERICA’S 400TH ANNIVERSARY WE WORK TO FOCUS NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL ATTENTION TO JAMESTOWN, FIRST PERMANENT ENGLISH SETTLEMENT IN THE NEW WORLD. AND ON THE CONVERGENCE OF CULTURES THAT WILL SHAPE OUR COUNTRY. NOW IN THE COMMEMORATIVE YEAR OF 2019, WE HAVE BEEN DRAWING MORE HEAVILY FROM ARCHAEOLOGICAL AND CULTURAL RESEARCH. WE HAVE BROADEN OUR PERSPECTIVE. THE RESULT, A FAR MORE DIVERSE COMPREHENSIVE AND COMPELLING PICTURE OF EVENTS HAS EMERGED. AND WE ARE DETERMINED TO CONTINUE THAT STORY AND BRING TO LIGHT OTHER SIMILAR EVENTS IN VIRGINIA AND ALL OF OUR NATION’S HISTORY. COMMEMORATION 2019, AMERICAN EVOLUTION SPOTLIGHTS THE GENESIS OF AMERICAN DEMOCRACY, AMERICA SLAVERY, AMERICA DIVERSITY AND OPPORTUNITY. AMERICA SURVIVAL AND AMERICA GENIUS. WE RESOLVE TO TELL THE STORY. TODAY, WE’RE GATHERING ON THIS MOMENTOUS OCCASION FOR THE GENERAL VIRGINIA ASSEMBLY, SERVING PEOPLE OF VIRGINIA BEGINNING THIS DAY. WE’RE DELIGHTED OF THE PRESIDENTS OF EACH OF YOU HERE AND THOSE WATCHING AND WE’RE TRULY HONORED TO BE JOINED, THE JOINT ASSEMBLY BY SO MANY DISTINGUISHED GUESTS. AND IF I COULD, BEFORE WE RECOGNIZE THE DISTINGUISHED GUEST, I ASK THAT WE PAUSE OF A GREAT LEADER OF OUR COMMONWEALTH. PRESIDENT HARRISON WILSON WAS A TRUE PIONEER AND HIGHER EDUCATION, ABLED LED NORFOLK UNIVERSITY, ONE OF HISTORIC BLACK UNIVERSITIES FOR MORE THAN TWO DECADES OF PROGRESS AND GROWTH, PLEASE JOIN ME IN A MOMENT OF SILENCE IN HIS MEMORY.>>WE ARE TRULY HONORED TO BE JOINED ON THIS JOINT ASSEMBLY BY SO MANY DISTINGUISHED GUESTS. DEPUTY SECRETARY OF INTERIOR KATE McGREGOR AND AMBASSADOR OF PORTUGAL HUMIGOS FIDDAL, EMBASSY OF THE UK EDWARD FERGUSON. FORMER CLERK OF THE BRITISH HOUSE OF COMMONS SIR DAVID NASLER. A CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVES, THE HONORABLE JENNIFER WE CANSTON. HONORABLE WAYNE LORRIA. HONORABLE WAYNE WHITMAN. FORMER CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVES, HONORABLE BOB RECOMESTOCK. HONORABLE VIRGIL GU. HONORABLE ROBERT LETRACK. HONORABLE THELMA DRAKE. HONORABLE SCOTT TAYLOR. STATEWIDE ELECTED OFFICIALS, HONORABLE JUSTIN FAIRFAX. HONORABLE MARK HERRING. HONORABLE JOHN HAGER, FORMER LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR. WE ALSO WANT TO CERTAINLY WELCOME MEMBERS OF THE GOVERNOR’S CABINET. A FORMER GOVERNORS, HONORABLE GEORGE ALLEN, HONORABLE GERALD L. BLALS, HONORABLE JAMES S. GILMOR, HONORABLE ROBERT F. McDONALD. WE ALSO WANT TO WELCOME MEMBERS OF THE SUPREME COURT. STATE LEGISLATOLEGISLATORS, HON JORDAN HARRIS, PENNSYLVANIA, HONORABLE TERRY HUTCHISON, ILLINOIS, WHO IS ARE SNCSL PRESIDENT. OF COURSE, OUR TRAVEL CHIEFS, NOTAWAY INDIAN TRIBE, NELSON. UPPER INDIAN CHIEF. RABI HANNIC INDIAN TRIBE, CHIEF ANNE RICHARDSON. WE ALSO WANT TO WELCOME OUR LOCAL OFFICIALS AND THE HONORABLE ANDREW H. CARR, JR., THE CHAIRMAN OF THE NATIONAL INDOMINANT OF DEMOCRACY, JAMES E. RYAN, THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA. ON BEHALF ENTIRE JOINT ASSEMBLY, WE’RE THANKFUL YOU’RE ALL HERE TO BE A PART OF THE COMMEMORATION WITH US. [ APPLAUSE ] THE CLERK WILL REPORT A RESOLUTION.>>COME MEMTIVE SESSION JOINT RESOLUTION, COMMEMORATIVE STATE ASSEMBLY IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE. 2019, MARKS THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE OLDEST REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE WHEN THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY MET IN, IN JAMESTOWN, VIRGINIA. MEMBERS OF THE VIRGINIA COMPANY IMPLEMENTED A SERIES OF REFORMS THAT RESULTED IN THE GREAT CHARTER THAT DIRECTED INCOMING GENERAL LARLLY, TO OVERSEE THE SETTLERS, IN EACH OF THE SETTLEMENT AREAS THAT WILL ATTEND THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY. WHERE THE MEMBERS SHARED POWER WITH THE GOVERNOR AND COUNCIL APPOINTED BY THE VIRGINIA COMPANY AND THE FIRST MEETING THAT TOOK PLACE FROM JULY 30TH, TO AUGUST 4TH, 1619 AS IN THE FIRST MEETING OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY THEY REVIEWED THE GREAT CHARTER, DEVELOPED JUST LAWS FOR GUIDING OF HAPPY PEOPLE AND ADDRESS CONCERNS TO IMPROVE THE OVERALL MANAGEMENT OF THE COLONY. IN THE EARLY YEARS AS WELL AS ACTING AS A LEGISLATIVE BODY, GENERAL ASSEMBLY ASSEMBLED AS THE HIGH COURT. AND WHILE THE VIRGINIA COMPANY CONTINUED TO APPOINT GOVERNORS AND ISSUE INSTRUCTIONS, THE SEEDS OF SELF-DETERMINATION AND DEMOCRATIC RULE HAVE BEEN PLANTED IN THE FER TILE SOIL OF VIRGINIA. WHEREAS AFTER THE CONCEPT OF PARLIAMENT GOVERNMENT WAS INTRODUCED TO VIRGINIA, GENERAL ISSUED ASSEMBLIES. INCLUDED THE HOUSE OF AND COUNCIL OF STATE IS NOW THE CONTINUOUS BODY OF THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE AND HAS BECOME A MODEL OF THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS AND COUNTLESS LOCAL AND MUNICIPAL BODIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY. AND WHEREAS AMERICAN EVOLUTION AND OTHER ORGANIZATIONS ARE HOSTING A VARIETY OF PROGRAMS AND SPECIAL EVENTS THROUGHOUT 2019 TO COMMEMORATE THE HISTORIC MILESTONE, VIRGINIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS AND THE HERITAGE OF THE NATION AND WHEREAS THE STORY OF VIRGINIA IS A STORY OF AMERICA, AND THE COMMONWEALTH CONTINUES TO INFLUENCE HISTORY AND THE CITIZENS SERVING THE LEADERS IN COMMUNITIES BOTH AT HOME AND THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES AND THE WORLD AND THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVE, THE HOUSE OF DELEGATES, GENERAL ASSEMBLY HERE BY COMMEMORATES THIS 400TH ANNIVERSARY THIS VERY DAY, ESTABLISHMENTS IN THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE. THE CLERK SHOULD ENTER THE JOINT ASSEMBLY IN A SPECIAL LTH- JOURNAL AND CERTIFIED COPY OF THE SAME TO THE CLERK OF THE SENATE.>>DELEGATE FROM FAIRFAX, DELEGATE HUGO.>>ADOPT THE RESOLUTION SAY AYE.>>THOSE OPPOSE, SAY NO. THE RESOLUTION IS AGREED TO. HONORABLE GREETINGS ON BEHALF OF THE OTHER SISTER STATE LEGISLATURES THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES, WE ARE HONORED TO HAVE WITH US THE VERY ACCOMPLISHED ILLINOIS STATE SENATOR, TROY HUTCHISON, PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL A CONFERENCE OF THE STATE LEGISLATURES, MADAM PRESIDENT. [ APPLAUSE ] >>GOOD AFTERNOON, DISTINGUISHED GUESTS, GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF VIRGINIA, SPEAKER COX, MY MSL FAMILY. WHEN THE GROUP OF 20 VERGIANS CONVERGED IN JAMES TOWN IN 1619, LITTLE DID THEY KNOW THEY WERE ESTABLISHING A TEMPLATE FOR SELF GOVERNANCE THAT WILL ENDURE FOR 400 YEARS. FORM OF DEMOCRACY PRACTICED BY PEOPLE WORLDWIDE. WHAT A PRIVILEGE IT IS TO BE ON THE VERY GROUNDS TO MARK THIS MONUMENTAL MOMENT IN POLITICAL HISTORY, TO HONOR THAT MOMENT IN TIME AND CELEBRATE THE LEGACY THAT THEIR EXPERIMENT LEFT BEHIND AND AFFIRM THE POTENTIAL OF DEMOCRACY STILL PROVIDES FOR OUR FUTURE. GENERATIONS HAVE PASSED SINCE THAT MIDSUMMER DAY, A DAY THAT I IMAGINE WAS JUST AS HOT AND HUMID AS THIS ONE. FROM THE HUMBLE BEGINNING OF ALL THE SYSTEM OF AMERICAN DEMOCRACY OF WHICH THE LEGISLATIVE INSTITUTION IS THE CORNERSTONE. IN 1619, MARKS ALSO THE FIRST TIME ADVOCATES WERE BROUGHT TO THE COLONIES, AND LAY GROUND WORK IN 1662 FOR THE HOUSE OF LAW THAT CREATED A SYSTEM WHERE CHILDREN WERE EITHER BORN FREE OR BOND DETERMINED BY THE STATUS OF THEIR MOTHERS, WHICH LAID THE CORNERSTONE FOR THE PARTICULAR INSTITUTION AS SLAVERY ITSELF IN THE UNITED STATES. THAT EVOLUTION IS BREATHTAKING. FROM THE RUDEMENTARY GATHERING OF LAND OWNING WHITE MEN, FILLED WITH THE BEST AND BRIGHTEST OF EVERY RACE, EVERY CREED AND EVERY GENDER. LEGISLATURES NOW SERVE AS A PLACE AS ORDINARY HARD WORKING AMERICANS BECOME EXTRAORDINARY AMBASSADORS OF THEIR NEIGHBORHOODS, THEIR CITIES, AND THEIR TOWNS AND STRIFE TOGETHER TO SECURE THE BLESSINGS OF LIBERTY. LEGISLATION WHERE INNOVATION, EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE FLOURISH, AND PEOPLE COME TOGETHER TO SOLVE VOICING PROBLEMS AND VOICE OF THE PEOPLE ARE EXPRESSED IN SELF-GOVERNMENTS. I’M HERE AS THE PRESIDENT OF CONFERENCE STATE LEGISLATURES REPRESENTING OVER 705 AMERICAN STATE LEGISLATURES AND MORE THAN 30,000 LEGISLATIVE STAFF. IT’S A TREMENDOUS HONOR TO BE HERE. NCSL ALSO BEGAN AS AN EXPERIMENT NEARLY 45 YEARS. IT WAS AN EXTENSIVE STUDY, DEBATE AND COMPROMISE. THE MEMBERS ARE COMMITTED TO THE FOUNDING TODAY AS WE WERE THEN. WE WERE FOUNDED IN THE BELIEF THAT A POWERFUL COHESIVE VOICE REPRESENTING LEGISLATURES IS ESSENTIAL TO SHAPING FEDERAL POLICY. WE WERE FOUNDED IN THE PRINCIPLE THAT THE BONDS THAT YOU A NIGHT US ARE STRONGER THAN THE DIFFERENCES THAT DIVIDE US. WE WERE FOUNDED IN THE CONVICTION THAT LEGISLATIVE SERVICE IS ONE OF DEMOCRACY’S WORTHIEST PURSUITS. I’M PROUD TO STAND HERE TODAY. I’M PROUD THAT IN 2009 AT THE AGE OF 36, I WAS DUALLY ELECTED TO REPRESENT MY DISTRICT IN THE GREAT STATE OF ILLINOIS IN A COUNTRY WHERE MY GRANDPAENTS DIDN’T HAVE A CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO VOTE UNTIL THEY WERE 34 AND 35. I’M PROUD THAT AS A WOMAN OF COLOR, A MOTHER, AND AN AMERICAN. I’M PROUD BECAUSE WE AS A PEOPLE FOUGHT FOR AND DIED FOR, PROTECTED AND NURTURED THE NATION IDEA BORN IN THIS PLACE SO MANY YEARS AGO AND WORK TIRELESSLY TO INSURE ITS SURVIVAL AND FURTHER ITS SUCCESS. I’M PROUD BECAUSE DESPITE THE MANY CHALLENGES AND SETBACKS THIS COUNTRY HAS FACED AMERICA IS STILL A PLACE OUR RIGHT TO GOVERNMENT IS NOT TO BE FORGRANTED, WHERE WE CAN CHALLENGE OUR GOVERNMENT AND DEBATE OUR PRINCIPLES AND INSTITUTIONS THAT PROVIDE FOR THAT RIGHT ARE HELD DEAR. MOST OF ALL, I AM PROUD BECAUSE OUR STATE LEGISLATURES REMAIN IN PLACES WHERE WE COME TOGETHER EVEN IN THE MOST DIVISIVE OF TIMES TO FIND SOLUTIONS TO THE PROBLEMS THAT PLAGUE US AND SERVE THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES. ON BEHALF OF THE 7,900 LEGISLATURES IN THE COUNTRY WHO UNDERSTAND THAT OUR SERVICE IS OUR LEGACY WHO UNDERSTAND THAT LEGACY IS DESCRIBED IN THE AMAZING AMERICAN BROADWAY PLAY HAMILTON, LEGACY ARE THE SEEDS PLANTED IN A GARDEN YOU MAY NEVER GET TO SEE. THE INSTITUTION OF THE LEGISLATURE, THE ARTICLE I BRANCH OF OUR THREE EQUAL COBRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO BE PROTECTED FOR IT IS AS STRONG AS FRAGILE AS DEMOCRACY ITSELF AND ABSOLUTELY WORTH FIGHTING FOR. THANK YOU. [ APPLAUSE ] >>THANK YOU, SENATOR HUTCHISON FOR YOUR STRONG LEADERSHIP ON BE HALF OF THE STATE LEGISLATURES, LAWMAKERS AND STAFF. NOW FOR THE PURPOSE OF WELCOMING TODAY’S KEYNOTE SPEAKER, WE’RE PLEASED TO HAVE WITH US A FORMER CAPITOL SQUARE COLLEAGUE WHO PERSONALLY SERVES IN WASHINGTON, D.C., THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS REPRESENTING AMERICA’S FIRST DISTRICT, THE HONORABLE ROBERT J. WHITMAN, THE UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES FIRST CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA. CONGRESSMAN WHITMAN. [ APPLAUSE ] >>THANK YOU, FOLKS, AND GOOD MORNING.. AND WELCOME TO AMERICA’S FIRST DISTRICT. AND WELCOME TO JAMESTOWN, THE LOCUST OF SO MUCH OF OUR HISTORY. IT IS HERE WHERE A SMALL GROUP OF ADVENTURERS ESTABLISHED THE VERY FOUNDATION OF THIS NATION, A NATION BUILT ON DEMOCRACY AND THE RULE OF LAW. MR. PRESIDENT, YOU MADE ALL AMERICANS PROUD EARLIER THIS SUMMER WHEN YOU TRAVELED TO NORMANDY TO RECALL AND HONOR THE SACRIFICES MADE THERE BY SO MANY YOUNG AMERICAN PATRIOTS. MANY FROM RIGHT HERE IN VIRGINIA. YOUR ELOQUENT WORDS TOUCHED US ALL AND WHAT YOU SAID THERE HAS SUCH RESONANCE FOR OUR ANNIVERSARY GATHERING TODAY THAT I WANT TO READ A PASSAGE FROM YOUR REMARKS, SPEAKING OF THE D-DAY HEROES, YOU SAID, MORE POWERFUL THAN THE STRENGTH OF AMERICAN ARMS WAS THE STRENGTH OF AMERICAN HEARTS. THESE MEN RAN THROUGH THE FIRES OF HELL, MOVED BY A FORCE NO WEAPON COULD DESTROY. THE FIERCE PATRIOTISM OF A FREE, PROUD AND SOVEREIGN PEOPLE. THEY BATTLED NOT FOR CONTROL AND DOMINATION, BUT FOR LIBERTY, DEMOCRACY, AND SELF-RULE. THEY PRESSED ON FOR LOVE AND HOME AND COUNTRY. THE MAIN STREETS, THE SCHOOL YARDS, THE CHURCHES, THE NEIGHBORHOODS, THE FAMILIES AND COMMUNITY THAT GAVE US MAN SUCH AS THESE. THEY WERE SUSTAINED BY THE CONFIDENCE THAT AMERICA COULD DO ANYTHING BECAUSE WE’RE A NOBLE NATION WITH A VIRTUOUS PREM PEOPLE PRAYING TO A RIGHTEOUS GOD. MR. PRESIDENT, THE LIBERTY, DEMOCRACY AND SELF-RULE TO WHICH YOU PAID SUCH TRIBUTE, THE CAUSE FOR WHICH SO MANY MADE PROFOUND SACRIFICE TRACES ITS ROOTS HERE TO THIS PLACE. IT WAS HERE IN A LITTLE CHURCH, IN A LITTLE FORT, IN A STRUGGLING COLONY THAT THE LIGHT OF LIBERTY WAS FIRST LIT ON THESE AMERICAN SHORES. IT WAS HERE THAT REPRESENTATIVES FIRST GATHERED TO GIVE VOICE TO THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE, A GOVERNMENT DRIVING ITS POWER FROM THE GOVERNED. ON THIS DAY 400 YEARS AGO, GOVERNOR YARLEY CALLED FOR THE FIRST LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY MARKING THE BEGINNING OF REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY THAT IS NOW THE GREAT UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. THEY DID NOT KNOW THAT THEY WOULD SUCCEED IN THIS GREAT EXPERIMENT OF DEMOCRACY. BUT THROUGH INGENUITY, PERSEVERANCE AND IDEALISM, THE FOUNDERS OF JAMESTOWN CREATE ADD MOVEMENT. THE ONE THAT HAS BROUGHT US HERE TODAY, ALL THAT WE HAVE BECOME AND INSPIRE TO BE TODAY IN THIS GREAT AND DIVERSE GREAT DEMOCRACY, COULDN’T EVEN BE CONTEMPLATED ON THAT HOT SUMMER DAY. BUT WHAT WAS UNLEASHED, WAS A POWERFUL IDEA, THE IDEA THAT FREE PEOPLE COULD GOVERN THEMSELVES. THE IDEA THAT CREATED A GREAT NATION AND IT CHANGED THE WORLD. MR. PRESIDENT, YOUR PRESENCE TODAY AS A LEADER OF OUR GREAT NATION SAYS SOMETHING PROFOUND AND POWERFUL ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS PLACE, ABOUT THE NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS ANNIVERSARY. WE ARE GRATEFUL THAT YOU HAVE COME TO HELP US TELL THAT STORY TO A LISTENING WORLD. REFLECTING ON THE BIRTH OF OUR NATION ALLOWS US TO SEE HOW FAR WE HAVE COME AS A NATION AND AS A COMMONWEALTH. WHEN THE SMALL GROUP OF BRITISH SETTLERS LANDED IN THIS PLACE, THEY COULD NOT HAVE IMAGINED WHAT THEY WERE ABOUT TO SET IN MOTION. JUST IN THIS AREA, WE HAVE THE SECOND OLDEST UNIVERSITY IN THE COUNTRY THAT EDUCATED THE FOUNDING FATHERS OF THIS NATION. WE HAVE THE LARGEST NAVAL BASE IN THE WORLD AND OUR OLDEST NASA FIELD CENTER. WE ARE SO BLESSED TO CALL THIS PLACE HOME. AS A FORMER MEMBER OF THE HOUSE OF DELEGATES, THE CHAMBER THAT IS THE DIRECT DESCENDANT OF THE FIRST LEGISLATIVE GATHERING, I’M ESPECIALLY GRATEFUL TO BE ON THE STAGE HERE THIS MORNING. WHEN THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE FORMALLY PRESENCE YOU TO THE BODY IN A FEW MOMENTS, YOU WILL BECOME THE FIRST PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TO ADDRESS THIS VIRGINIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN ITS ENTIRE ILLUSTRIOUS 400 YEAR HISTORY. [ APPLAUSE ] >>THIS IS THE HIGHEST OF HONORS IN A SINGULAR DISTINCTION THAT WILL LIVE ON IN HISTORY MUCH WE, TOO, ARE HONORED. WE ARE HONORED BY YOUR PRESENCE AND WE ARE HONORED BY YOUR RECOGNITION OF THIS 400TH ANNIVERSARY. IT IS A WORTHY MOMENT THAT STANDS INSIGNIFICANCE IN REMEMBERANCE BY ALL AMERICANS. ALL WHO LIVE IN THE LAND OF FREEDOM AND ENJOY ITS BLESSINGS BECAUSE OF FOUR CENTURIES OF SERVICE AND SACRIFICE. MR. PRESIDENT, WELCOME. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR LEADERSHIP AND FOR TAKING THE TIME TO BE WITH US TODAY.>>THE ASSEMBLY WILL BE EASED JUST FOR A SECOND.>>LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THE COMMONWEALTH IS HONORED TO HAVE WITH US ON THIS HISTORIC OCCASION, AND IT IS MY PRIVILEGE, THE SPEAKER WILL FORMALLY PRESENT IN THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, DONALD J. TRUMP. [ BAND PLAYING ] [ APPLAUSE ] >>THANK YOU VERY MUCH. PLEASE MAKE YOURSELVES COMFORTABLE. I WANT TO THANK YOU SPEAKER COX, TRUE PRIVILEGE TO BE BACK IN THE GREAT COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA. [ APPLAUSE ] AND TAKE TREMENDOUS HONOR TO STAND IN THE HISTORIC GROUNDS AS THE FIRST PRESIDENT TO ADDRESS A JOINT SESSION OF THE OLDEST LAW MAKING BODY IN ALL OF THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE, THE VIRGINIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY. CONGRATULATIONS. [ APPLAUSE ] >>ON THIS DAY 400 YEARS AGO, HERE ON THE SHORES OF THE JAMES RIVER, THE FIRST REPRESENTATIVE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY IN THE NEW WORLD CONVENED BY THE DEVOTION OF GENERATIONS OF PATRIOTS, IT’S FLOURISHED THROUGHOUT THE AGES. AND NOW THAT PROUD TRADITION CONTINUES WITH ALL OF YOU, TO EVERY VIRGINIIAN AND EVERY LEGISLATURE WITH US TODAY, CONGRATULATIONS ON FOUR INCREDIBLE CENTURIES OF HISTORY, HERITAGE, AND COMMITMENT TO THE RIGHTEOUS CAUSE OF AMERICAN SELF-GOVERNMENT. THIS IS TRULY A MOMENTOUS OCCASION. [ APPLAUSE ] >>I WANT TO THANK THE GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA FOR INVITING ME TO SPEAK AT THIS VERY IMPORTANT EVENT. AND WITH US THIS MORNING ARE MANY DISTINGUISHED GUESTS AND OFFICIALS ACROSS THE COMMONWEALTH INCLUDING LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR JUSTIN FAIRFAX. SPEAKER KIRK COX. THANK YOU, KIRK. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. SENATE MAJORITY LEADER TOMMY NORMENT. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. AND MEMBERS OF THE HOST AND OTHER FEDERAL STATE, LOCAL AND TRIBAL LEADERS ALL WITH US TODAY. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. [ APPLAUSE ] >>WE’RE ALSO VERY THANKFUL AS WELL TO HAVE WITH US SECRETARY BEN CARSON. BEN, THANK YOU VERY MUCH, WHEREVER YOU MAY BE. [ APPLAUSE ] >>AND ACTING DIRECTOR, PERSON THAT YOU KNOW VERY WELL, ACTING DIRECTOR, KEN HUCHINELLY. I SPEND A LOT OF TIME WITH YOU FOLKS AND HAVE A LOT OF RESPECT MUCH THE TERRIFIC PEOPLE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND NATIONAL PARKS SERVICE, I WANT TO THANK YOU ALL FOR BEING HERE WITH US. IT’S A GREAT HONOR. I ALSO WANT TO RECOGNIZE EVERYONE AT AMERICAN EVOLUTION AND THE JAMESTOWN SETTLEMENT, THE JAMESTOWN YORKTOWN FOUNDATION, THE JAMESTOWN REDISCOVERY PROJECT AND PRESERVATION VIRGINIA. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. WHAT A GREAT JOB YOU DO. THANK YOU. THE FACT IS THAT EACH OF YOU HAS HELPED PROTECT AND PRESERVE OUR NATIONAL TREASURES HERE IN JAMESTOWN AND IT’S A GREAT DEBT. WE OWE YOU A GREAT, GREAT DEBT. THANK YOU. WHAT A JOB. ON THIS DAY IN 1619, JUST A MILE SOUTH OF WHERE WE ARE GATHERED NOW, 22 NEWLY ELECTED MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF VERGISIS ASSEMBLED IN A SMALL WOODEN CHURCH. THEY WERE ADVENTURES, EXPLORERS, FARMERS AND PLANTERS, SOLDIERS, SCHOLARS AND CLERGYMEN. ALL HAD STRUGGLED, ALL HAD SUFFERED AND ALL HAD SACRIFICED IN PURSUIT OF ONE WILD AND VERY IMPROBABLE DREAM. THEY CALLED THAT DREAM VIRGINIA. IT HAD ONLY BEEN 13 YEARS SINCE THREE SMALL SHIPS, THE SUSAN CONSTANT, THE GODSPEED, AND THE DISCOVERY SET SAIL ACROSS A VAST OCEAN. THEY CARRIED 104 SETTLERS TO CARVE OUT A HOME ON THE EDGE OF THIS UNCHARTED CONTINENT. THEY CAME FROM GOD AND COUNTRY. THEY CAME IN SEARCH OF OPPORTUNITY AND FORTUNE AND THEY JOURNEYED INTO THE UNKNOWN WITH ONLY MEAGER SUPPLIES, LONG ODDS AND THE POWER OF THEIR CHRISTIAN FAITH. UPON REACHING CAPE HENRY AT THE MOUTH OF THE CHESAPEAKE BAY IN 1607, A LONG TIME AGO, THE FIRST MEN OF THE VIRGINIA COMPANY ERECTED A CROSS UPON THE SHORE. THEY GAVE THANKS TO GOD AND ASKED HIS BLESSING FOR THEIR GREAT UNDERTAKEN. IN THE MONTHS AND YEARS AHEAD, THEY WOULD DEARLY NEED IT. THE DANGERS WERE UNPERIL. THE JAMESTOWN SETTLERS ARRIVED IN AMERICA AMID ONE OF THE WORST DROUGHTS IN OVER SEVEN CENTURIES. OF 104 ORIGINAL COLONIES, 66 DIED BY THE YEARS END. DURING THE THIRD WINTER, KNOWN AS THE STARVING TIME, A POPULATION OF UP TO 500 SETTLERS WAS REDUCED TO 60. BY SPRING, THOSE WHO REMAINED WERE IN SEARCH OF WHATEVER THEY COULD GET TO SURVIV AND THEY WERE IN DIRE TROUBLE. THEY LEFT JAMESTOWN DESERTED. THEY JUST SAILED AWAY, NEVER TO COME BACK BUT THEY HAD NOT GONE FAR DOWN THE JAMES RIVER WHEN THEY ENCOUNTERED THE ANSWER TO THEIR PRAYERS, SHIPS BURYING A YEAR’S WORTH OF SUPPLIES AND MORE THAN 300 NEW SETTLERS. AS WE CAN SEE TODAY ON THIS GREAT ANNIVERSARY, IT WOULD NOT BE THE LAST TIME THAT GOD LOOKED OUT FOR VIRGINIA. TOGETHER, THE SETTLERS FORGED ON WHAT WOULD BE THE TIMELESS TRAITS OF THE AMERICAN CHARACTER. THEY WORKED HARD. THEY HAD COURAGE AND ABUNDANCE AND A WEALTH OF SELF-RELIANCE. THEY STRIFE MIGHTILY TO TURN A PROFIT, THEY EXPERIMENTED TO PRODUCING SILK, CORN, TOBACCO AND THE VERY FIRST VIRGINIA WINES. AT A PRIOR SETTLEMENT AT ROANOKE, THERE HAD BEEN NO SURVIVORS, NONE AT ALL. BUT WHERE OTHERS HAVE TYPICALLY PERISHED, THE VIRGINIIANS WERE DETERMINED TO SUCCEED. THEY ENDURED BY THE SWEAT OF THEIR LABOR, THE AID OF THE POATAN INDIANS AND THE LEADERSHIP OF THE THE CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH. AS THE YEARS PASSED, SHIPS BURYING SUPPLIES FROM ENGLAND ALSO BROUGHT A CULTURE AND WAY OF LIFE THAT WOULD DEFINE THE NEW WORLD. IT ALL BEGAN HERE. IN TIME DOZENS OF BRAVE MEN AND WOMEN ENDURED THE COLONY. IN 1618, THE GREAT CHARTER AND OTHER REFORM ESTABLISHED A SYSTEM BASED ENGLISH COMMON LAW. FOR THE FIRST TIME, VIRGINIA ALLOWED PRIVATE LAND OWNERSHIP. IT CREATED A BASIC JUDICIAL SYSTEM. DPIEN — FINALLY IT GAVE THE COLONIST A SAY IN THEIR OWN FUTURE, RIGHT TO ASENL BELL BY POPULAR VOTE. AND THE FORMER CLERK OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, SIR DAVID NATZLER. THANK YOU, DAVID. SIR DAVID, WE’RE THRILLED TO HAVE YOU WITH US. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR BEING HERE. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. AT THE FIRST AMERICAN ASSEMBLY IN 1619, THE WEATHER WAS SO HOT THAT ONE LEGISLATURE ACTUALLY DIED MERCIFULLY, THE SESSION WAS CUT VERY SHORT. BUT BEFORE ADJOURNING, THE ASSEMBLY PASSED LAWS ON TAXATION, AGRICULTURE AND TRADE WITH THE INDIANS. WITH TRUE AMERICAN OPTIMISM, THE ASSEMBLY EVEN ENDORSED A PLAN TO BUILD A WORLD CLASS UNIVERSITY IN THE STILL RUGGED WILDERNESS. IT WAS A VISION THAT WOULD ONE DAY BE FULFILLED JUST MILES FROM HERE AT ONE OF AMERICA’S EARLIEST EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS, THE ESTEEMED COLLEGE OF WILLIAM & MARY. GREAT PLACE. [ APPLAUSE ] >>AND AS WE MARK THE FIRST REPRESENTATIVE LEGISLATURE JAMESTOWN, OUR NATION ALSO REFLECTS UPON AN ANNIVERSARY FROM THE SAME SUMMER FOUR CENTURIES AGO. IN AUGUST 16, 1619, THE FIRST ENSLAVED AFRICANS IN THE ENGLISH COLONIES ARRIVED IN VIRGINIA. IT WAS THE BEGINNING OF A BARBARIC TRADE IN HUMAN LIVES. TODAY, IN HONOR, WE REMEMBER EVERY SACRED SOUL WHO SUFFERED THE HORRORS OF SLAVERY AND THE ANGUISH OF BONDAGE. MORE THAN 150 YEARS LATER, AT AMERICA’S FOUNDING, OUR DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE RECOGNIZED THE IMMORTAL TRUTH THAT ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL. [ APPLAUSE ] BR>>YET IT WOULD ULTIMATELY TAKE A CIVIL WAR, 857 YEARS AFTER THAT DOCUMENT WAS SIGNED, TO ABOLISH THE EVIL OF SLAVERY. IT WOULD TAKE MORE THAN ANOTHER CENTURY FOR OUR NATION IN THE WORDS OF REVEREND MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. TO LIVE OUT THE TRUE MEANING OF ITS CREED AND EXTEND THE BLESSINGS OF FREEDOM TO ALL AMERICANS. [ APPLAUSE ] >>IN THE FACE OF GRAVE OPPRESSION AND GRAVE INJUSTICE, AFRICAN-AMERICANS HAVE BUILT, STRENGTHEN, INSPIRED, UPLIFTED, PROTECTED, DEFENDED AND SUSTAINED OUR NATION FROM ITS VERY EARLIEST DAYS. LAST YEAR, I WAS PRIVILEGED TO SIGN A LAW ESTABLISHING A COMMISSION TO COMMEMORATE THE ARRIVAL OF THE FIRST AFRICANS, THROUGH THE ENGLISH COLONIES AND THE 400 YEARS OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY THAT HAVE FOLLOWED. THAT WAS AN INCREDIBLE DAY, THAT WAS AN INCREDIBLE EVENT. TODAY, WE’RE GRATEFUL TO BE JOINED BY THAT COMMISSIONS, CHAIRMAN, DR. JOSEPH GREEN. THANK YOU, DR. GREEN. THANK YOU. THANK YOU VERY MUCH, DR. GREEN. IN THE DECADES THAT FOLLOWED, THAT FIRST LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY, THE DEMOCRATIC TRADITION ESTABLISHED HERE LAID DEEP ROOTS ALL ACROSS VIRGINIA. IT SPREAD UP AND DOWN THE ATLANTIC COAST. ONE FACTOR WAS QUICKLY ESTABLISHED FOR ALL TIME. IN AMERICA, WE’RE NOT RULED FROM AFAR. AMERICANS GOVERN OURSELVES AND SO HELP US GOD, WE ALWAYS WILL. RIGHT HERE IN VIRGINIA, YOUR PREDECESSORS — >>THANK YOU VERY MUCH. THANK YOU. RIGHT HERE IN VIRGINIA, YOUR PREDECESSORS CAME FROM PLACES YOU ALL KNOW VERY WELL. THEY WERE NAMES SUCH AS GEORGE WASHINGTON, FROM FAIRFAX COUNTY, THOMAS JEFFERSON, JAMES MAD SOUTHERN FROM ORANGE COUNTY, JAMES MONROE FROM SPATSVANNIA COUNTY, PATRICK HENRY, FROM LOSE COUNTY. GEORGE MASON FROM FAIRFAX COUNTY. GEORGE W.ITH. AND RICHARD HENRY LEE FROM WESTMORELAND COUNTY. INCREDIBLE NAMES. INCREDIBLE NAMES. SELF-GOVERNMENT IN VIRGINIA DIDN’T JUST GIVE US A STATE WE LOVE. IN A VERY TRUE SENSE, IT GAVE US THE COUNTRY WE LOVE, THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, SO TRUE. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. [ APPLAUSE ] >>WHEN MADISON DRAFTED THE FIRST AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION, HE DREW INSPIRATION FROM VIRGINIA’S STATUTE FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM. AS JOHN ADAMS WROTE IN PHILADELPHIA, JUST BEFORE THE ADOPTION OF THE THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, WE ALL LOOKED UP TO VIRGINIA FOR EXAMPLES. GREAT. SO GREAT. AND WHEN PATRICK HENRY ROSE TO SPEAK HIS FAMOUS WORDS AT ST. JOHN’S CHURCH IN RICHMOND, GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH. HE SPOKE IN DEFENSE OF A TRADITION THAT BEGAN MORE THAN 150 YEARS BEFORE AT JAMESTOWN, RIGHT HERE. [ APPLAUSE ] IT WAS A HERITAGE, THOSE PATRIOTS WOULD FIGHT A LONG WAR OF INDEPENDENCE TO DEFEND AND IT IS A HERITAGE THAT COUNTLESS AMERICANS HAVE FOUGHT AND DIED FOR TO SECURE IN ALL OF THOSE CENTURIES SINCE. IN OUR TIME, WE MUST VIGOROUSLY DEFEND THOSE CHERISHED DEMOCRATIC DECISIONS THAT HAVE MADE OUR BELOVED REPUBLIC THE ENVY OF THE ENTIRE WORLD AND IT STILL IS AS MUCH AS EVER BEFORE AND MAYBE MORE, OUR HARD ONE CULTURE OF SELF-GOVERNMENT MUST BE NOURISHED, PROTECTED AND CONSTANTLY PRESERVED. THAT IS WHY WE MUST SPEAK OUT STRONGLY AGAINST ANYONE WHO WOULD TAKE POWER AWAY FROM CITIZENS, INDIVIDUALS AND STATE GOVERNMENTS SUCH AS YOURS. IN AMERICA, THE PEOPLE WILL FOREVER RULE. THE PEOPLE WILL FOREVER REIGN AND THE PEOPLE WILL FOREVER BE SOVEREIGN. [ APPLAUSE ] >>FROM THE FIRST LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY DOWN TO TODAY, AMERICANS HAVE BEEN CITIZENS WOULD TAKE OWNERSHIP OF THEIR FUTURE AND TAKE CONTROL OF THEIR DESTINY. THAT’S WHAT SELF-RULE IS ALL ABOUT. EVERY DAY AMERICNS COMING TOGETHER TO TAKE ACTION, TO BUILD, TO CREATE, TO SEIZE OPPORTUNITIES, TO PURSUE THE COMMON GOOD AND TO NEVER STOP STRIVING FOR GREATNESS. [ APPLAUSE ] >>FOUR CENTURIES AGO, ONE EARLY VOYAGE TO JAMESTOWN CAPTURED THE SPIRIT OF CONFIDENCE AND DARING THAT HAS ALWAYS POWERED OUR GREAT EXPERIMENT AND SELF-GOVERNMENT. HE WROTE, WE HOPE TO PLANT A NATION WHERE NONE BEFORE HAVE STOOD. THAT WAS SOMETHING. IN THAT HOPE, THE MEN AND WOMEN OF JAMESTOWN ACHIEVED SUCCESS BEYOND ANYTHING THEY CAN POSSIBLY HAVE IMAGINED. THEY STARTED THE NATION THAT SETTLED THE WILDERNESS, WON OUR INDEPENDENCE, TAMED THE WILD WEST, ENDED SLAVERY, SECURED CIVIL RIGHTS, INVENTED THE AIRPLANE, VANQUISHED THE NAZIS, BROUGHT COMMUNISM TO ITS KNEES AND PLACED OUR GREAT AMERICAN FLAG ON THE FACE OF THE MOON. [ APPLAUSE ] >>AND IN A PROGRAM THAT’S JUST STARTED, SOME DAY VERY SOON, AMERICAN ASTRONAUTS WILL PLANT OUR BEAUTIFUL STARS AND STRIPES ON THE SURFACE OF MARS. [ APPLAUSE ] >>BUT AMONG ALL OF AMERICA’S TOWERING ACHIEVEMENTS, NONE EXCEEDS THE TRIUMPH THAT WE ARE HERE TO CELEBRATE TODAY, OUR NATION’S PRICELESS CULTURE OF FREEDOM, INDEPENDENCE, EQUALITY, JUSTICE, AND SELF-DETERMINATION UNDER GOD.>>THAT CULTURE IS THE SOURCE OF WHO WE ARE. IT IS OUR PRIZED INHERITANCE. IT IS OUR PROUDEST LEGACY. IT IS ONE OF THE GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD. WHAT YOU HAVE DONE IS THE GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD AND I CONGRATULATE YOU. IT STARTED RIGHT HERE. [ APPLAUSE ] >>NOW WE MUST GO BRAVELY INTO THE FUTURE, JUST AS THOSE BOLD EXPLORERS FIRST VENTURED INTO THIS MANAGISTIC LAND. WE MUST CALL UPON THE SAME SCALE OF IMAGINATION, THE SAME THIRST FOR KNOWLEDGE, THE SAME LOVE OF ADVENTURE, THE SAME UNRELENTING COURAGE AND THE SAME TOTAL DETERMINATION TO PREVAIL. ABOVE ALL, WE MUST BE PROUD OF OUR HERTAGE, UNITED IN OUR PURPOSE AND FILLED WITH CONFIDENCE IN OUR SHARED GREAT, GREAT, GREAT, GREAT AMERICAN DESTINY. IN AMERICA, NO CHALLENGES IS TOO GREAT. NO JOURNEY IS TOO TOUGH. NO TASK IS TOO LARGE. NO DREAM IS BEYOND OUR REACH. WHEN WE SET OUR SITE ON THE SUMMIT, NOTHING COULD STAND IN OUR WAY. AMERICA ALWAYS GETS THE JOB DONE. AMERICA ALWAYS WINS. [ APPLAUSE ] >>THAT IS WHY AFTER 400 YEARS OF GLORIOUS AMERICAN DEMOCRACY, WE HAVE RETURNED HERE TO THIS PLACE TO DECLARE TO ALL THE WORLD THAT THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND THE GREAT COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA ARE JUST GETTING STARTED. OUR FUTURE IS BIGGER, BOLDER, BETTER AND BRIGHTER THAN EVER BEFORE. IT’S BEEN A GREAT HONOR FOR ME TO BE WITH YOU THIS MORNING. I’D LIKE TO THANK YOU. GOD BLESS YOU. GOD BLESS VIRGINIA AND GOD BLESS AMERICA. THANK YOU VERY MUCH, EVERYBODY. [ APPLAUSE ] [ BAND PLAYING ] [ BAND PLAYING ]>>WE LIKE TO THANK THE PRESIDENT FOR ATTENDING THIS 400TH ANNIVERSARY, EMPHASIZING THE TREMENDOUS IDEALS AND FREEDOMS. I THINK HE SAID WELL, WHEN HE SAID, NOTHING COULD GET INTO AMERICA’S WAY, WHEN WE APPEAR TO THE HIGHER INSTINCT. MEMBERS WILL RISE FOR THE BENEDICTION OFFERED BY STEVEN H. ATKINSON, SR. CHIEF, CHIEF ATKINS.>>MR. SPEAKER, I’M PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN. [ APPLAUSE ] >>I’LL START MY PRAYER AND ALGAN TONGUE. [ SPEAKING IN NATIVE TONGUE ].>>SPEAKING THE BENEDICTION OF THE LOVE AND WISDOM HISTORIC GATHERING OF ELECTED OFFICIALS, FRIENDS AND GUESTS AS WE ADJOURN THIS GENERAL ASSEMBLY SESSION. WE SEEK YOUR GOD AND CONTINUE YOUR JOURNEY TO A MORE PERFECT UNION, PRINCIPLES OF GOVERNMENT ESUPPOSE. OUR PRAYERS FOR TRANSPARENCY FOR FORTHRIGHTNESS AS WE RALLY AROUND THE GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE FOR THE PEOPLE AND BY THE PEOPLE. WE PRAY FOR GENUINENESS AND AUTHENTICITY AS WE WORK THROUGH IDEOLOGICAL DIFFERENCES AND DISAGREEMENTS THROUGH A SHARED CONSENSUS. A PLACE WHERE BLURRED LINES AMONG POLITICAL PARTY, WITHOUT RANGER OR ILL WILL. A PLACE WHERE PRINCIPLES AND IDEOLOGICALS ARE NOT COMPROMISED BUT RATHER ARE CLEARLY UNDERSTOOD. AT THIS VERY TIME AND IN THIS VERY PLACE, CAUSE US TO LIFT UP THE DOWN TRODDEN, LOVE THE UNLOVELY AND ABLE RESILLIENCE AMONG THE VULNERABLE, GIVE VOICE TO THE VOICELESS AND REACH OUT TO THE NEEDY. EMPOWER THE LEADERS AND FRIENDS TO BOLDEN THE THROWN OF GRACE AND SEEK YOUR GUIDANCE ON EVERY DECISION MADE AN EVERY INITIATIVE UNDERTAKEN. BLESS AND GOD OUR PRESIDENT WHO’S ACTIONS AND DISCUSSIONS, WHOSE ACTIONS AND DECISIONS HAVE WORLDWIDE IMPLICATIONS. LET US MOVE FORWARD WITH OPTIMISM AND ENABLING US TO EMBRACE THE IMPOSSIBLE SO THAT WE ESTABLISH A FOUNDATION UP WHICH THE NEXT 400 YEARS COULD STAND. AS WE STAND AND MISS THE WORLD FULL OF TURMOIL AND STRIFE, LET US BE THE BEACON OF LIFE AND HOPE AS ALLOWS THAT ASSEMBLY FOUR CENTURIES AGO. FINALLY CAUSE US TO RECOGNIZE THAT EVEN AS YOU DID WITH ESTRA IN THE OLD TESTAMENT, THAT PERHAPS YOUR PLACE US HERE, AT THIS TIME, AND IN THIS PLACE, FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS. OUR HOME, AMEN. [ APPLAUSE ] >>THANK YOU SO MUCH, CHIEF ATKINS. THE SENATE FROM LYNCHBURG, SENATOR PETE. SENATE FROM LYNCHBURG, LEAVINGS THE JOINT ASSEMBLY ADJOURN, SENATOR DIA. ME IN FAVOR OF THE MOTION, SAY AYE. THOSE OPPOSED SAY NO. THE MOTIONS AGREED TO, THE JOINT ASSEMBLY ON THE 400TH ANNIVERSARY IN THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY STANDS ADJOURNED SINNA DIA. [ BAND PLAYING ]

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