I have watched you from a distance for sometime . . .

In the pristine wild you felled a tree for your first home. You fished and drank from a clear river. You fought starvation and disease. Kept fires in log homes to keep from freezing in bitter winters. Grew food to live by, flowers for beauty and made music to get you through. Had every imaginable hardship and you prevailed. Through sheer determination, you built something difficult and memorable; a city – and, it grew . . .

Henry Ford created the assembly line, giving many work. You came from all over, alone, with families, and you built the automobile. You made roads, built factories, manufactured with great skilled hands, and you played music to see you through.

World War II came and you were called upon to build even more. You worked in your plants night and day. The late shift was endless, lonely. Though, you were fatigued and often hungry you seldom complained, while you helped keep a country’s freedom. Steadily, you grew successful. With hard work you defined excellence in a middle class. America shared the bounty and the world was watching you.

Since then, you’ve been rich and poor, looked on and looked over, torn up and torn down, split and torn apart, dug up and run over, polluted and corrupted, remembered and long forgotten – abandoned . . .

Companies have closed, jobs are few, times are lean, and you watched in frustration – with, perhaps, a little anger – while your great history was buried. Yet, you are still here. You want to work. You are born of spirit and struggle handed down from Grandmothers and Grandfathers.

Remember, it is you who invent, you who create and build. You have soul and heart, dignity, and you believe in a place called home. Christmas is near and, though there is no pill to fix what ails you, be steadfast, you will learn to fix it yourselves – from your own battered frame, just as you did in the beginning.

You will turn over the good earth, with strong hands, and you will grow a new garden of cheer – one flower at a time – placing each of them under the tree .

And, you will continue to make music because, still, the angels sing – 

Merry Christmas,

Love Santa