Jon Ossoff & Rev. Raphael Warnock
(Wikipedia Free-Use Photographs)

John Lewis
(Wikimedia Creative Commons)

Progressive Georgian Voters, we appreciate your steadfast perseverance regardless of the despicable injustices so many of you have endured. You have secured senate victories for Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff. Both are historic achievements and you have significantly helped our nation defend democracy. We acutely miss Mr. John Lewis today. We believe his spirit knows that your enormous accomplishments are unprecedented. You are inspiring patriots, and you have mobilized to ensure that justice, dignity, and integrity will thrive in America. John Lewis is surely proud of you. We are too.

On this day (01-06-21) homegrown terrorists (in the thralls of COVID-19) mobbed the house of the American people, the United States Capitol building in Washington, DC. Their disgraceful violent sedition astonished the world, horrified our allies, and heartened our internal and external adversaries. Their coup attempt assaulted democracy because they have fallen prey to a poisonous diet of pathological lies, baseless allegations, and pseudo-conspiracy theories.

It may seem like the heart of America is on CPR, but despite today's shameful display of dissension, it will result in the increase of real patriotism across the country. We the people will continue to unify to defend the principles of the Constitution, the Republic, and democracy against domestic and foreign terrorists and their co-conspirators.

Friends, as we said on 01-01-21: 2020 was apocalyptic. Don't listen to people who say that 2021 will not be better. 2021 will be better, not only in the form of a hypodermic needle of hope, but it will also be better with a desperately needed sane, competent, and empathetic president, Joe Biden. Please get out of your tribe and communicate with one another to find common ground to build upon. We all need to strive to be our better selves.

Stacey Abrams
(Wikimedia Creative Commons)

Stacey Abrams: Her organization, Fair Fight has provided education to voters, has assisted disenfranchised voters, and has vigorously fought fierce opposition to strengthen and ensure voting rights. On an extraordinary grassroots level, Stacey and those working with her have successfully helped to demolish voter suppression, to reverse inequalities, and to establish fair elections in Georgia and across the United States. Stacey, those working with her, organizers, doorknockers, phone callers, volunteers, poll workers, and everyone who is helping to eliminate voter suppression are examples of the best citizens America has. Stacey, countless Americans and people across the world applaud and thank you.

Cherokee Rose
Georgia's State Flower

(Wikipedia Free-Use Photograph)

On August 18, 1916, the white and fragrant Cherokee Rose (Rosa Laevigata) became Georgia's state flower. A Cherokee Rose legend is a heartbreaking part of America's history. In 1838, native Cherokee men, women, and children were aggressively removed from their land in Georgia. The United States government stole their land and forced-marched them a thousand miles to Oklahoma in what is called the Trail of Tears. Tragically, more than 4,000 of the original 17,000 people died along the way. Legend says the grieving Cherokee mothers were crying profoundly. The elders prayed for a sign that would lift the mother's spirits and give them strength. The next day a beautiful rose began to grow where each of the mother's tears fell.

The rose is pure white to represent their innocent tears. A gold center represents the gold the U.S. government stole from the Cherokee people by taking their lands. The three leaves and five petals represent the seven Cherokee clans. The wild Cherokee Rose is a evergreen climbing shrub. It still grows along the route of the Trail of Tears into eastern Oklahoma today. Not native to Georgia, the Cherokee Rose is believed to have arrived in the United States in the 1700s. Less than 50 years later the Native American Cherokee in Northern Georgia planted the shrub.

The medicinal properties of the Cherokee Rose have been used for centuries. The hairs should never be ingested. The hairs cause mouth and digestive tract irritation. The flower, leaf, and root are edible. Once the hairs are removed, the seed can be used as a supplement to other foods as a source of vitamin E. The sugar extracted from the hip is used to ferment wine. For assistance in wound healing, leaves are beneficial, and the roots and leaves have detoxifying effects. The hips, when eaten raw or cooked, have a high nutritional content including vitamin A, C, and E. It is an excellent source of fatty acids. The Cherokee Rose is being studied as potentially being able to reverse or halt cancer growth.