Developing international relationships requires tact, resolve and diplomacy.
But in 1938, representatives of Northern New York and southeastern Ontario used steel and concrete to strengthen the bonds between the communities in this region. The result has been decades of economic growth and cooperation.
Today marks the 75th anniversary of the opening of the Thousand Islands International Bridge, which spans the St. Lawrence River to connect the United States and Canada. About 25,000 people gathered to watch U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Canadian Prime Minister William L. Mackenzie King usher in a new era of commerce and friendship.
The construction of the bridge enhanced the flow of vehicular traffic between the two countries. Still in the throes of the Great Depression, the economic opportunities this project made possible cannot be overstated. These benefits have continued to this day, making the bridge a testament to the forward thinking and entrepreneurial spirit of the people of that day.
But many things have changed over the years, making the ongoing relationship between the United States and Canada more important. The persistent threat of terrorism has compelled us to place a renewed priority on national security measures.
It is essential, then, that we maintain the relationship weve shared. This anniversary is an appropriate time to reflect not only on what weve jointly created but how well continue shaping the future for the better.