Nebraska state officials said during a special ceremony a look back should spur us forward.
Gov. Pete Ricketts welcomed those attending the official Statehood Day Ceremony in the George W. Norris Legislative Chamber at the state Capitol.
“Happy Statehood Day,” Ricketts said to applause in the chamber during the celebration which culminated a day of commemoration of Nebraska becoming the 37th state of the union March 1, 1867.
“Today is our 150th anniversary of statehood; our sesquicentennial,” Ricketts stated.
Ricketts and other speakers, including Chief Justice Mike Heavican and Speaker of the Legislature, Sen. Jim Scheer of Norfolk, pointed to the past as a pattern to lead the state into the future.
Heavican used the state motto for his theme, “Equality Before the Law.”
Scheer picked up on Ricketts’ review of the state history as inspiration during his address at the ceremony.
The Everett Elementary School chorus of Lincoln sang, “Happy Birthday” to the state. An Octet from Waverly High School sang the state song, “Beautiful Nebraska.”
Nebraska State Poet Twyla Hansen read “Nebraska: A Treasured State,” her poem written for the sesquicentennial, ending with the lines:
“Our time is brief: let us tread lightly, praise
the labor of hands, hearts, minds. Together
sing the good, sow the seeds for nobler life.”
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]