October 11, 2000

Voice from the past encourages us to vote

It’s time to vote again and I thought I would offer some perspective to those of us who are feeling a bit apathetic about the event.

Recently, I was reviewing some old documents concerning the history of the Bealeton Presbyterian Church and came across the following entry in the record of minutes of the Ladies Aid Society. It was written by the secretary Nellie C. Miller April 17, 1907 – “The long talked of board walk from church to public road was again brought to mind. The Ladies decided to take matters in their hands as the gentlemen had failed to do it and if necessary use the hatchet and saw themselves, for the walk must be put down.”

Those two sentences got me thinking about the character of the citizens of the United States 100 years ago and, I have to confess, it left me feeling a bit embarrassed for the actions of my generation. Here was a woman who lived in a time when women were considered to occupy a somewhat subservient role, yet she clearly demonstrated leadership and resolve in the founding of a church that still thrives 100 years later. Quite a legacy and one that must have required great effort and perseverance to establish.

I know almost nothing about this person except what I have gleaned through a review of her many years of notes while she was the secretary of the Ladies Aid Society. What I guess is that if I were to sit down at her table and complain about the current state of affairs in this country, she would swiftly, and with some physical animation, tell me to “pick up my hatchet and saw and get to work fixing the dang thing”. So I’m going to take the advice I presume she would give me, and go to the polls on election day and vote for the person I believe will best serve our nation. I think I owe that simple task to all of the Nellie C. Miller’s who built our nation, along with our churches. I hope you will agree and join me there.

Rex A. Hoover