Abilene News

Published 2:15 pm Thursday, June 20, 2013

June 21 – I think that all of us would agree that our money passes through our hands so quickly these days that we hardly have time to stop and really look at it.

We all know that George Washington, our first president, is pictured on the front of every one-dollar bill but when was the last time you looked at, or thought about, the back side.

Pictured on the back side of every one-dollar bill are the two sides of our nation's official emblem, The Great Seal of the United States of America which was approved and adopted by Congress 231 years ago on June 20, 1782. The Seal is full of symbols that have specific meanings about values the Founding Fathers wanted to pass on to each generation.

Email newsletter signup

The front of The Great Seal bears the coat of arms of the United States showing an American bald eagle with a shield on its breast. The shield contains 13 vertical red and white stripes, representing the 13 original states. The eagle holds an olive branch with 13 leaves and 13 olives in its right talon, symbolizing strength in peace. It holds 13 arrows in its left talon, meaning strength during war. The eagle faces the olive branch to show that Americans prefer peace.

In its beak, the eagle holds a scroll inscribed with the Latin motto E Pluribus Unum (“Out of Many, One”). The motto refers to the fact that the United States is one nation formed by several states.

Above the eagle's head is a circle of clouds surrounding a constellation of 13 stars. The constellation breaking through the clouds symbolizes the United States taking its place among the other nations.

The red in the Great Seal symbolizes hardiness and valor; the white stands for purity and innocence; and the blue represents vigilance, perseverance, and justice.

The back of the Great Seal is sometimes called its spiritual side. It shows a pyramid built of thirteen levels of stone, representing the thirteen original states in the Union. Since ancient times, pyramids have symbolized strength and duration.

Above the pyramid is a triangle containing the eye of Providence, which watches over the Union. The Latin motto Annuit Coeptis means “He (God) has favored our undertakings.”

On the base of the pyramid is the Roman numeral MDCCLXXVI (1776), the date of the Declaration of Independence. Beneath the pyramid a scroll reads Novus Ordo Seclorum meaning “A New Order of the Ages,” signifying that 1776 marked the beginning of the American era.

The poet, Walt Whitman, suggested the pyramid is shown as unfinished because although the architects of the United States of America laid its foundations, each generation has the duty of building a strong, good nation.

Friends And Neighbors

Today, June 21, marks the summer solstice or the first day of summer- also the longest day of the year. Sadly, from now until December 21, the winter solstice, each day will get shorter.

June 21 is also the anniversary of the great floods of 1972 which I am sure many of you still remember.

The Abilene Homemakers Club held their June meeting on the 18th. Work on the red, white, and blue quilt that will be raffled in October continues. The Abilene Homemakers Club meets the third Tuesday of each month at 1 p.m., usually at the Abilene Community Center. Visitors and guests are always welcome.

Also on the 18th the Farmville-Prince Edward Historical Society held their June meeting. Guest speaker was Bob Flippen who gave a great program on historical sites along the Appomattox River. The Historical Society meets on the third Tuesday of each month, at 7 p.m. at the Farmville Train Station. The guest speaker for the July 16 meeting will be Nathan Ryalls, a 2011 graduate of Hampden-Sydney College. He will speak on “Textbooks Published During the Confederacy.” Visitors and guests are always welcome.

Our prayers and best wishes go out to Jay Garnett for continued recovery.

Our prayers and best wishes are extended to Jeremy Harris, of Floyd, for a speedy recovery from his surgery.

Happy Birthday wishes are extended to Bridget Johnson who will celebrate June 22; Marie DeDorming on June 23; Debbie Fifield on June 25; and Kim Marston on June 29.

If you have any news or announcements that you would like to share, please call me at 223-2271 or email me at kz5ro@kinex.net.