A Message from Gov. John Bel Edwards

Citizens of Louisiana,

Two hundred thirteen years ago today, on January 11, 1803, President Thomas Jefferson directed Robert Livingston and James Monroe to enter into a treaty with France to purchase the Louisiana Territory. What followed was the largest territorial gain in the United States’ history. New American land from fifteen present-day states and two Canadian territories stretched from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains.

Today, as we gather on the banks of that same Mississippi River that flows in the shadow of our own State Capitol, we are called upon to embark on a journey just as significant and critical to the future of Louisiana as Jefferson’s was to our beloved country. The opportunity and promise available to our children depends largely upon the resolve of the wonderful people from all across this beautiful state to relentlessly pursue the common interest.

Therefore, at this critical time, I urge all of us to be Louisianians first and foremost. Let us courageously labor together to build a future for Louisiana that is worthy of its great people. We cannot shrink form the task before us. We must not tire of the work ahead of us.

As the prophet Nehemiah called to his people, let us rise up and build. Let us strengthen our hands for this good work. Today, we do not blow an uncertain trumpet; rather, we hear the call of our common destiny. With God’s blessing and through hard work, endurance and compassion, we will succeed.

Simply said, we need to put Louisiana first again. We will. Our best days are yet to come.

John Bel Edwards

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