"Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can't ride you unless your back is bent."
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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8 years later
The inspiration started on February 19, 2009 when Rick Santelli ranted (in part) on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange; “Our government is promoting bad behavior! Are we going to reward people “carrying the water or those that are drinking the water?”
By February 26th of that year, word was out that groups were going to rally in cities around the U.S. on February 27th. While big cities were doing their planning, a “spark” had ignited here in NE Florida. Within 24 hours our greater community (a committee of 3, local businesses, a videographer and patriots of all ages) came together. Ordinary people showed up at the Jacksonville Landing to share in this historical response to the rant that “shook the county.” At “High Noon” on February 27th, 79 people from all walks of life came together at the Jacksonville Landing for what would be the birth of the tea party movement in NE Florida. Dr. James Nealis was the speaker for this historical occasion as patriots saw the opportunity to stand together and initiate what has come to be known as the grassroots movement of the tea party here on the First Coast.
Here we are 8 years later…………….patriots have taken up the causes that mean the most to them and realize that they have a voice that can and should be heard by our elected leaders. They joined forces as an outgrowth of that initial rally on February 27th with the formation of the First Coast Tea Party. These tea party patriots are all volunteers. They are not privately funded by a group, they don’t operate from a “playbook/manual,” they are everyday Americans that continue to work towards “reclaiming America.” They participate in the effort to promote a strong America that protects and preserves opportunities for future generations. GRASSROOTS AT ITS FINEST!
IT WAS HIGH NOON IN JACKSONVILLE
February 27, 2009
An Awakening of Ordinary People
Did you hear? How could that be? Tea parties in different places all over the U.S.A.? What about Jacksonville? Would there be one here? The response was, “We can do this!”
Within 24 hours the tea party movement was birthed here on the First Coast. How was that started? Patriots heard that there would be other events on February 27th and a core group connected because they were feeling the urge to respond to the changes that were/are transforming our country. Janet, Cynthia and Carole began networking. Helen said, “I wanted to do something to educate others about what I saw and felt before it was too late. When I heard from a friend that folks were gathering at the Landing, I jumped at the chance. I had less than a two hour window to arrive but I didn’t hesitate to respond.”
And, so it was…………..two men borrowed large tables, a group from the beach collected gallons of tea, sign supplies, WOKV was one of our sounding boards as they let the First Coast audience know of the “high noon” event. The coffee gang that met at a local McDonald’s joined in the gathering. Bikers passing thru Jacksonville made their way to the group of 79 that joined in this first ever event. Kim stopped by from her office across the street. Then there was a class of school-aged children that were on a field trip but stopped to listen in. It was a moment that people were moved to step forward with a “We can do this” spirit. We can come together as Americans and stand up for our country. We can speak out, make signs that show our concerns and we can join with other Americans that love this land and know of the sacrifices that have been made so that we live in the “land of the free."
The generosity of the Landing allowed us to gather, show our patriotism and stand together as one people from all walks of life because we care and because we know that it’s up to us. We were fortunate to have a historian and patriot speak to the spirited group. Dr. Nealis was just the right person to bring the message of our Founding Fathers, the faith that guided them and the value of our country’s Constitution. Greg was on hand to video the event and then was able to stream the footage so that it was on the nightly news. Cynthia views the event as “a place to begin.” She adds that in the book of Ruth, Ruth was placed to make a difference for her people. And then she adds, “All of us who helped start the tea party movement here in North Florida feel the same way. We were called to make a difference for our people, for our country. We stepped up, “for such a time as this.”
And now we are eight years later. The tea party movement is continuing with the “We can do this” spirit as “we the people” become more educated, understand and participate in election integrity at all levels, engage others, watch and respond to the local, state and national leaders that represent us as they make decisions for us and our way of life. We have a voice, we stand together and we do not forget the many sacrifices along the way from our faithful Founding Fathers to those that volunteer to serve this great nation. Congratulations First Coast Tea Party for carrying on with your participation in a movement that has left (and is leaving) footprints here on the first coast and beyond!
WE THE PEOPLE - HEAR OUR ROAR!