JEFFERSON — Foundation Forward, the nonprofit responsible for the installation of the Charters of Freedom in front of the Ashe County Courthouse, gathered alongside county elected officials for the burial of a time capsule at the setting Monday, Oct. 14.
Within the sealed stainless steel canister, letters from local elected officials were stored to be read upon its opening 68 years from now on the 300th anniversary of Constitution Day, Sept. 17, 2087, as well as the names of everyone who contributed to the Charters of Freedom project and instructions to be resealed for another 100 years. Two other time capsules were also buried to be opened in 2187 and 2287.
“Words cannot express the significance of the freedom that we share because of these Charters of Freedom that we’re going to be representing and honoring today,” Ashe County Commissioner Larry Dix said at the start of the ceremony.
Together with Dix, Board of Commissioners Chairman Todd McNeill, Commissioner Paula Perry and Commissioner William Sands shared remarks before representatives from Foundation Forward placed the time capsules within a lockbox.
“I won’t be around in 2087, but some of my kids might and my grandchildren will, and I hope that they will be here and be a part in honoring the freedom that we have in what we call the United States of America,” Dix said.
David Streater, Director of Education at Foundation Forward, said the tradition started after Vance and Mary Jo Patterson, founders of Foundation Forward, visited the Charters of Freedom and National Archives in Washington, D.C.
“They see this as a way of giving back to the community,” Streater said. “(Vance Patterson) has a vision that in 2087 on Constitution Day, people in their communities that have one of these settings will all open them.”
After placing the time capsules within the lockbox, Streater then handed the combination for the safe to Interim County Manager Adam Stumb for him to pass on in the years to follow.
“We’re very proud to seal this up for Ashe County, and hopefully we are still around for the reopening, but if not, we send our best wishes with it,” said Mike Unruh, Director of Communication and Support at Foundation Forward.