Welcome home Cherokees
BY BILL JOHN BAKER
This year we mark our 60th year of celebrating the Cherokee National Holiday, which commemorates the signing of our 1839 Constitution. I’m confident there are few festivals and events that have gathered for six consecutive decades, and I am positive that none are as special as the Cherokee National Holiday.
Since 1952, our country has endured wars, recessions and civil unrest. Despite all of that, Cherokees have persevered and always come together. That spirit of togetherness is reminiscent of this year’s Cherokee National Holiday theme, From One Fire to a Proud Future. It reminds us that we are all Cherokee; we are all one. Our past is great, but our future is greater.
This year’s celebration also holds a particularly special place in my heart, as it is the first Cherokee National Holiday I will preside over as your principal chief, and I couldn’t be happier to celebrate the legacy of our great Nation with you.
If you and your family are coming to celebrate your first holiday with us, welcome. I assure you that your expectations of excitement, fun and hospitality will be far exceeded. If you are returning for your 10th, 20th or even 60th Cherokee National Holiday, welcome home. We can’t wait to see you again. But whether this is your first holiday or your 50th, let’s remind ourselves we do come from one fire, and embody that indomitable Cherokee spirit.
So this weekend, please take time to make sure that every stranger you meet walks away a friend, and every friend you meet walks away with a smile.
Thank you all so much for making this celebration the special event that it is, and I look forward to seeing each and every one of you at the 60th annual Cherokee National Holiday.
Bill John Baker