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Letter: Thanks to DL for a great Sesquicentennial celebration

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opinion Detroit Lakes, 56501
Detroit Lakes Online
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Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

Earlier this month, five Minnesota cities, chosen by the people of Minnesota, were honored as "Capitals for a Day." The Sesquicentennial staff and commissioners toured each town during a special week of activities and events to commemorate Minnesota's 150th anniversary of statehood. Detroit Lakes was the third of those cities, honored on May 14, 2008, as the Honorary State Capital of Minnesota for the day and Capital for the Deciduous Forest biome of that runs diagonally across Minnesota throughout the year.

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On behalf of the entire Sesquicentennial Commission and staff, we would like to thank the people of Detroit Lakes. The town displayed a unique pride and spirit that shined throughout the day. We were treated to a wide variety of special people and events in your great city; the morning ceremony at the historic Holmes Theater, the community gathering on the banks of Lake Detroit, the performances and artwork by local school kids and the dedication special postage stamp cancellation were all wonderful events for your town's day as Honorary State Capital.

But while the Detroit Lakes' day of festivities might be over, the city still has an important role to play during this Sesquicentennial year. The city will continue to serve as Honorary Capital all year, but particularly this July, when the whole state's attention will focus on Minnesota's Deciduous Forest. As Honorary Capital, Detroit Lakes can be a leader this summer for the other communities and towns throughout the region while helping to highlight the things that make the Deciduous Forest unique in Minnesota.

As a start, the Sesquicentennial Commission is asking the people of Detroit Lakes and all Minnesotans to take the "Sesquicentennial Pledge" which reads:

"During the Sesquicentennial year, I will endeavor to learn from the state's past, reflect on lessons from both its successes and failings and get engaged in planning for Minnesota's future well-being."

The pledge can be found and officially signed on the Sesquicentennial website (www.mn150years.org) but we're also asking local civic groups, school classes or any active community group to take the pledge as a group, and work together to fulfill it.

This oath puts into words what Detroit Lakes started during their day as State Capital: a commitment to learn about Minnesota's past and prepare for a challenging future. Now we're challenging you all to keep that momentum going this summer and honor our continued statehood by being leaders for Minnesota and for our nation as we all move into the demands and opportunities of the 21st century. -- Jane Leonard, executive director and Tane S. Danger, communications director of the Minnesota Sesquicentenni

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