Today is July Fourth, 2020. Happy Fourth of July! I am honored to be on the ballot this year and humbled to be walking in the footsteps of many who paved the way for me to be the first Independent and the first Black male to ever make it to the ballot for commissioner in Hamilton County’s 230-year history. So, for the next seven minutes or so, I want to talk on the topic, “What to the HAMILTONIAN is the Fourth of July?” I am at beautiful Union Terminal in Hamilton County. Friends, I coined the phrase HAMILTONIAN to mean eleven key things. So, here we go: What to the HAMILTONIAN, is the Fourth of July?
The Fourth of July is a celebration of imperfect heroes. Alexander Hamilton, whom our county is named after, said “I never expect to see a perfect work from an imperfect man”. Alexander Hamilton was not perfect. He was an immigrant who came to this country with a dream. And he became a hero who left a mark for many fellow citizens. To the Hamiltonian, the fourth of July, is a celebration of our union as Heroes for many citizens.
The Fourth of July is a triumph of adventure. On this day we honor and rejoice in the victories of many who surmounted tremendous obstacles and braved many hardships. Their sacrifices do more than just allow us to fire up a grill. They allow us to live with purpose, which is the greatest adventure of mankind. To the Hamiltonian, fourth of July is a triumph of our union as Adventurers with purpose.
The Fourth of July is a merriment in dreams. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “I have a dream”. With that one powerful speech and a life well-lived, he inspired many great dreams. Lupita Ny’ongo said, “Dreams are the foundation of America”. On this day, we all celebrate each other’s dreams, while considering our own dreams. To the Hamiltonian, fourth of July is a merriment in our union as Makers of other’s dreams.
The Fourth of July is a recognition that as we ignite those fireworks, we firmly believe that our future can be better than the present. Condoleezza Rice said, “the essence of America is that you can come from humble beginnings to do great things”. As those lights pierce the darkness of night, we sense a better future. To the Hamiltonian, fourth of July is a recognition of our union as Igniters of a better future.
The Fourth of July is an embrace of the change we seek. William Henry Harrison, Ohio’s first President and a son of Hamilton County, said “Times change, and we change with them”. In Hamilton County, we embrace change that is good for us. We know full well that change is the key to the future. To the Hamiltonian, fourth of July is an embrace of our union as Leaders of the change we seek.
The Fourth of July is a recognition that we are a small part of a country that is on a mission. Harry Truman said, “America was built on courage, on imagination, and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand”. May we always make the right decisions as we move forward to be first and lead. To the Hamiltonian, fourth of July is a recognition of our union as Thinkers on a mission.
The Fourth of July is an observance of the great American experiment. Some have described it as “an improbable experiment in democracy”. Improbable experiments are only made possible by outstanding visionaries. The framers of the constitution were visionaries. May we emulate them. To the Hamiltonian, fourth of July is an observance of our union as Outstanding visionaries.
The Fourth of July is an acknowledgement of the power of community. Community enables virtue. Frederick Douglass said, “The life of the nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful and virtuous.” The greatest of leaders navigate their communities toward virtue, truth, and honesty. To the Hamiltonian, fourth of July is an acknowledgement of our union as Navigators for our community.
The Fourth of July is a magnification of the power of humanity. Many generations of brave Americans have inspired greatness in our community. I am inspired by the leadership of great men and women who have transformed Hamilton County. In this county, we inspire greatness. To the Hamiltonian, fourth of July is a magnification of our union as Inspirers of greatness.
The Fourth of July is a reminder that we have the vulnerable among us. As we light barbeques in backyards and parks across the county, we know that there are many in shelters, under bridges, ill in our hospitals, and some who are imprisoned in our jails. We fight for them. To the Hamiltonian, fourth of July is a reminder of our union as Advocates for the vulnerable.
The Fourth of July is a lasting beacon that we are the nicest nurturers and neighbors. As a father, I nurture my kids well by throwing them a party that they can rejoice in as they celebrate liberty. My wife points out that as neighbors, we rejoice in the freedoms of our neighbors to celebrate American values. To the Hamiltonian, the fourth of July is a lasting beacon of our union as Nicest nurturers and neighbors.
Friends, let us be HAMILTONIAN! May our union as Hamilton County residents grow stronger. From Union Terminal, this is Dr. Najoli wishing you and your loved ones a happy and safe Fourth of July.