Dear Fellow New Mexicans:
I want to thank you for the honor of serving as your Lieutenant Governor. Governor Martinez and I took office together with high hopes and great expectations for our state, and as we continue to celebrate our Centennial, I would like to reflect on our history in the context of 100 years of statehood.
The history of this territory precedes what is taught in most history books. My own family often reflects upon the fact that we were here before the pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock. I can trace my public service roots to my great, great grandfather who was a territorial legislator from San Miguel County, in 1860.
Since achieving statehood, New Mexico has made extraordinary contributions to the region and the nation. Our agricultural, ranching, mining and extractive industries, as well as our federal contributions in the form of national parks, laboratories, and military bases make us truly unique among the states. Our reliance on and preservation of our diverse cultural heritage is a source of pride and again, is uniquely New Mexican. From the sacrifices made during the Bataan Death March and our singular contributions to the atomic age, to the modern trailblazing we are achieving in the space age, New Mexico is rich in history as well as vital to America’s future generations
When President Howard Taft signed the proclamation securing New Mexico’s statehood with the words "I am glad to give you life. I hope you will be healthy,” he offered a powerful hope for our people. At that time, Governor McDonald proclaimed, “Now, we, the free, independent citizens of New Mexico, have at last come victorious from the battle, waged for full citizenship in a sovereign state, in that union established by their wisdom. As we look into the future, bright hopes of promise appear to some, and dark forebodings may dim the horizon of others. The past is history; the present is the dawn of the future. It is to the future we look and that future will be what we make it.”
Governor McDonald’s words remain true today. I sincerely believe that our best days lie ahead and hope you will join me as we work to move our great state forward, recognizing that our “future will be what we make if it.”