WHEREAS, on June 20, 1782, the bald eagle was designated as the national emblem of the United States at the Second Continental Congress; and
WHEREAS, the bald eagle is native to North America and represents American values and attributes, such as freedom, courage, strength, spirit, justice, quality, and excellence; and
WHEREAS, the bald eagle is the central image used in the Great Seal of the United States and in the seals of many branches of the U.S. Government, including the Presidency, Congress, Department of Defense, Treasury Department, Justice Department, State Department, Department Of Commerce, and U.S. Postal Service; and
WHEREAS, the bald eagle’s image, meaning, and symbolism have played significant roles in American history; and
WHEREAS, the bald eagle was classified as an “endangered species” in 48 states under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, and was upgraded to a less imperiled “threatened” status under that Act in 1995; and
WHEREAS, the recovery of the bald eagle population in the United States was largely accomplished due to the vigilant efforts of numerous agencies, corporations, organizations, and citizens; and
WHEREAS, the Department of Interior and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service delisted the Bald Eagle from Endangered Species Act protection in 2007, but bald eagles will continue to be protected under the Bald & Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize June 20, 2019, as AMERICAN EAGLE DAY in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.