If I had to summarize that answer into one word, that word would be "we." To me, Dublin is not the place we call Dublin. It is the people who live and who have lived here and around the surrounding country side of Laurens County.
Yes, we have our special buildings, the ones we have grown to know and to love, and the ones we often take for granted. And, there are those special places, where our memories take us, back to the day when life was a little slower and people were kinder and gentler.
But, the true secret of what is good about Dublin is not the buildings, not the places, but it is the people who have called this place, home.
In the 200 years of our existence, the people of the Dublin area have accomplished a multitude of remarkable achievements. Yes, I am prejudiced. But, I can honestly say that our people have done more than other communities our size in Georgia.
U.S. Senators, congressmen, governors, attorney generals, and state department officers have called Dublin home.
We have been actors, actresses, singers and musicians of national notoriety. We have performed in Hollywood, in Nashville and on Broadway.
We played in the Super Bowl, the Masters Golf Tournament (yes, we made the green jackets, too.) We have played Major League Baseball and in the NBA.
One of us helped men to walk and ride on the Moon.
We have been generals and admirals and commanded the National Guard.
Three of us were known as Tuskegee Airmen.
We have been judges and justices of Georgia Appellate Courts.
Some of us have been bishops and two of us have headed the Shriners of North America.
Our citizens have been enshrined in the Halls of Fame in sports, music, agriculture, government, newspapers, furniture retailing, pest control, radio and television.
We have influenced the lives of people like Helen Keller and Martin Luther King.
The Congressional Medal of Honor, sixteen Silver Stars, and hundreds of Bronze Stars have been awarded to us.
We have been a Harlem Globetrotter, wrestling champions and Most Valuable Players.
A few of us have been All Americans in major collegiate sports, as well as regional, state, national and world champions.
We have been the writers of hundreds of books, been nationally esteemed journalists and prominent painters.
We have founded the oldest sorority in the world and raced at Daytona.
We were the first African American female to head a major college department, to be the first vice president of CBS Radio, and the first General who came from the Finance Corps.
Our portraits have graced the cover of Life magazine more than once and one of our little boys grew up to be a six time world boxing champion. Another became a great inventor for Ford Motor Company.
We have been one of the very top high school football coaches in Georgia history.
A Dublin cable guy founded MTV and a local school teacher led the National Order of the Eastern Star.
The fastest man in the world and the second President of The Republic of Texas lived here for a time.
We have been President of Georgia Power Company and the youngest female attorney in the history of Georgia.
Famous radio disc jockeys and a trainer of pro tennis champions sojourned here on their way to the top of their profession.
We have been one of four Georgia Bulldogs to have their jersey retired. Had Herschel Walker's mother not had pre natal problems and traveled to Augusta to give birth to him, you could make that two.
Our tiniest adult citizen followed Dorothy down the Yellow Brick Road.
We have commanded the United Confederate Veterans and won MTV and Grammy Awards.
A Dublin kid grew up to become the first African American catcher in the American League, another - the first female to get an athletic scholarship at the University of Georgia and another - the first female African American graduate of the UGA law school and yet another - one of the first African American female dentists in the state.
One of us founded the States Rights movement in the United States and almost started the first Civil War back in 1825 with President John Quincy Adams over the issue of removing the Indians from Georgia.
And we have done the other things, the one no one wins an award for, but the things that meant so much to the ones we love and the ones who have loved us.
Yes, there is an "I" in Dublin. But, there is also a "U." When you put "U" and "I" togther, you get a "We."
"We" is what Dublin means to me. We can do anything that our hearts desire will allow.
We have done it before. We can do it again. We will do it again.
In this bicentennial year, we celebrated the people of our past and present and hope and pray for the people of our future.
So in this 200th year of Dublin, I salute "we," the people of Dublin - the people of her past, the people of her present and the people of her future.
May our city always be known as the place where we always tried to do our duty, where we tried to do the right thing, and where we can live in a place - a place in our hearts, a place in our dreams, and a place where there are no "I"s, no "Me"s, but a whole lot of "We"s
Dublin, I salute you, may we live in peace, in harmony and in love for another two hundred years.