Since its inception in 1998, a small group of local citizens has gathered the morning of the Fourth of July to discuss hopes, fears and dreams for the community, nation and the world.
As the 21st American Dialogue approaches this coming Fourth of July, it remains the dream of organizers that, for this one morning, people can put aside the day-to-day issues and talk with one another about what is truly important to this and future generations.
“We hope to hear what younger citizens see looking forward, and what our elders see looking back,” said Roger Breisch, organizer of the event. “We live together in a community; Let’s talk about how to live together as a community.”
The event starts with coffee and bagels at 8 a.m. Dialogue takes place from 8:30 a.m. until 10 a.m. July 4 at Batavia City Hall, 100 N. Island Ave.
A Personal Invitation to ‘The American Dialogue: Discussing Our Hopes, Fears, and Dreams’
By Roger Breisch
As former chair of the Batavia ACCESS Fireworks Committee, the Fourth of July has been an integral part of my life for many years. I have come to love that special day for what it is … and what it could be. As a day of celebration, it’s hard to top — a time for picnics, family gatherings, parties and, of course, fireworks.
However, I have thought a great deal about what it could be. I often fear we take our freedom for granted; we have forgotten how to reflect on the responsibilities of living in a free democratic republic.
In 1998, a group of Batavians resolved that the Fourth of July would be an ideal day to invite fellow citizens to discuss our hopes, fears, and dreams for the community, nation and the world. That vision became a reality as we convened the first annual Fourth of July American Dialogue, on the 222nd anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
As we approach the 20th American Dialogue this coming Fourth of July, it remains my dream that, for this one morning, we can put aside the day-to-day issues and talk with one another about what is truly important to us … and future generations. I am hoping to hear what younger citizens see looking forward and what our elders see looking back.
We live together in a community … I wonder if we know how to live together as a community.
In 2018, the nation and the world often seem torn asunder by deep divisions in beliefs about today and the future. I have always loved Batavians for our ability to come together around our divisions and move into the future with greater mutual understanding. I am hoping we can do that again this coming Fourth of July.
From 8:30 a.m. (coffee and bagels at 8 a.m.) until 10 a.m. on the Fourth of July, everyone is invited to gather at Batavia City Hall (100 N. Island Ave.) and discuss hopes, fears, and dreams for the community, nation and the world.
All are welcome!