Lincoln prepared the Gettysburg address while traveling by train. He created five drafts of this address, but they all began the same way:
“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation conceived in Liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”
The noun, score, comes from the Old Norse skor, meaning “notch or tally” or twenty. Four score and seven is 87 years. It had been 87 years since the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
Although it varies, a generation is somewhere between 20 and 25 years. May I suggest we use 22 years as an average. This means that, from the signing of the Declaration of Independence to the dedication of the cemetery in Gettysburg, four generations had passed.
Syracuse was incorporated on September 3, 1935. It has also been four score and 7 years since Syracuse officially became a city. Sheldon T. Dahl was born in October of 1935. He and his first-grade class were all born that year and are 87 years old in 2022. Four generations have also passed since their births.
Teens often complain of pain following exertion; we call this growing pains. During the Civil War, our teenaged country experienced growing pains. The decision to eliminate slavery was one. There was a differing opinion held by some then.
Syracuse City is also in its four-generation. Our teenage city is experiencing growing pains. Opinions vary on what should be done. I will not lie. There is conflict in Syracuse. As in the picture, we all have differing perspectives.
My plea with you is to become involved in what is happening. The first assignment is to learn the truth. The city website, social media page, and this magazine are good sources of truth. I also know that visiting with city staff is a source of truth. Become involved in the city. There is a constant need for volunteers. Apply for commissions, committees, and boards that serve the residents. Lastly, throw your hat in the ring for elected office. I have tremendous respect for those who are willing to endure the buffetings that come with elected office. I’ve just finished my 12th year of elected office. It hasn’t all been fun, but I’ve learned to love those I’ve served.
As I leave office, I pledge my support to our new governing body. I will do as I hope you will: offer my perspective. I wish them well. God bless your family, and God bless Syracuse.
Mayor Mike Gailey