(Senate - November 10, 1997)

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[Pages S12478-S12479]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  Mr. LOTT submitted the following resolution; which was referred to 
the Committee on the Judiciary:

                              S. Res. 155

       Whereas April 6 has a special significance for all 
     Americans, and especially those Americans of Scottish 
     descent, because the Declaration of Arbroath, the Scottish 
     Declaration of Independence, was signed on April 6, 1320 and 
     the American Declaration of Independence was modeled on that 
     inspirational document;
       Whereas this resolution honors the major role that Scottish 
     Americans played in the founding of this Nation, such as the 
     fact that almost half of the signers of the Declaration of 
     Independence were of Scottish descent, the Governors in 9 of 
     the original 13 States were of Scottish ancestry, and 
     Scottish Americans successfully helped shape this country in 
     its formative years and guide this Nation through its most 
     troubled times;
       Whereas this resolution recognizes the monumental 
     achievements and invaluable contributions made by Scottish 
     Americans that have led to America's preeminence in the 
     fields of science, technology, medicine, government, 
     politics, economics, architecture, literature, media, and 
     visual and performing arts;
       Whereas this resolution commends the more than 200 
     organizations throughout the United States that honor 
     Scottish heritage, tradition, and culture, representing the 
     hundreds of thousands of Americans of Scottish descent, 
     residing in every State, who already have made the observance 
     of Tartan Day on April 6 a success; and
       Whereas these numerous individuals, clans, societies, 
     clubs, and fraternal organizations do not let the great 
     contributions of the Scottish people go unnoticed: Now, 
     therefore, be it
       Resolved, That the Senate designates April 6 of each year 
     as ``National Tartan Day''.

  Mr. LOTT. Mr. President, I rise today to introduce a resolution 
designating April 6 of each year as ``National Tartan Day,'' not only 
to recognize the outstanding achievements and contributions made by 
Scottish-Americans to the United States, but to better recognize an 
important day in the history of all free men, April 6.
  It was nearly 700 years ago, on April 6, 1320, that a group of men in 
Arbroath, Scotland, enumerated a long list of grievances against the 
English king of the day, asserted their independence in no uncertain 
terms, and claimed that they, the people of Scotland, had the right to 
choose their own government. They wrote, ``We fight for liberty alone, 
which no good man loses but with his life * * *''
  These were daring words, because the Scots who wrote those words 
lived in dangerous times. Violence ruled the world. Wars were fought 
for property, for conquest, for great tracts of land in far away 
  But the Scots who met on that cold April day, perhaps in the rain, 
were not fighting for property or conquest or estates. They wrote, ``We 
fight for liberty alone.'' This was all they fought for. Liberty.
  These were daring words--dangerous words--words that could bring 
certain death to them and their families. These Scotsmen were claiming 
liberty as their birthright. They were claiming they were born free 
men--and no king, no baron, no landlord with his troops could take this 
liberty from the men in Scotland.
  These were words that lasted, long after kings and buildings had 
fallen into ruin. These were words that endured, like the mountains, 
hills and stones of Scotland.
  These were words that reached across the years, the centuries, across 
the ocean. Over 450 years later, a group of men stood in a building in 
the British colony of Pennsylvania, on a hot summer's day, debating and 
then signing their own declaration of independence. They used the 
Arbroath Declaration as the template for their own thoughts,

[[Page S12479]]

their own words. This was natural--many of the men in that room in 
Philadelphia, almost half, were of Scottish ancestry. The draftsman of 
the document was Thomas Jefferson--one of his ancestors had signed the 
Arbroath Declaration, all of those centuries before. The words of the 
Arbroath Declaration meant something to those men--they were daring 
words--words that would not be quiet, that would not lie quiet and 
still on some forgotten Scottish hill. The men in Philadelphia that day 
remembered those words--``We fight for liberty alone''--and the men in 
Philadelphia signed their own declaration of independence.
  The words and thoughts of those long-ago Scottish patriots live on in 
America. Liberty, true liberty, has been good to their descendants in 
America. Scottish-Americans have helped build this nation since the 
beginning. Three-fourths of all American presidents can trace their 
roots to Scotland. The contributions of Scottish-Americans are 
innumerable: Some of the great have included Neil Armstrong, Alexander 
Graham Bell, Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Alva Edison, William Faulkner, 
Malcolm Forbes, Billy Graham, Alexander Hamilton, Washington Irving, 
John Paul Jones, John Marshall, Andrew Mellon, Samuel F.B. Morse, James 
Naismith, Edgar Allen Poe, Gilbert Stuart, Elizabeth Taylor, to name 
only a few.
  But beyond all of the accomplishments of Scottish-Americans, beyond 
all the wonderful inventions like the telegraph and telephone and 
electric light, all the works of literature, all the great businesses 
and charitable organizations founded by Scottish-Americans, beyond all 
of those accomplishments, are the words. ``We fight for liberty alone * 
* * We fight for liberty alone, which no good man loses but with his 
  Those are haunting words. Those are words that haunted the men who 
passed them down for generations, wherever men dreamed of being free, 
words that haunted the men who rewrote them in Philadelphia on that 
hot, steamy day, words that have haunted generations of Americans. 
Words that have lived inside men, unspoken, as they marched to 
Yorktown, as they lined up quietly behind the cotton bales in New 
Orleans, marched to Mexico, sailed to Cuba and the Philippines, and 
Europe and the Pacific and Korea and the Persian Gulf. These are words 
that live inside all of us Americans, and especially inside our 
veterans: ``We fight for liberty alone, which no good man loses but 
with his life.'' And how many have lost their lives for our freedom.
  It is appropriate that we honor April 6 as National Tartan Day. The 
Scottish clansmen who met on that cold day and declared their 
independence were our clansmen, no matter what nation we hail from. 
They were our brothers.
  Mr. President, I ask all my colleagues to support this resolution, so 
that we may never forget, so that the world, in some small way, may 
never forget, the beginnings of freedom in far-away, long-ago Arbroath.