The "First State," the "Diamond State," the "Small Wonder."
It has been called by many names. While it may be easy to overlook on a map, it is hard not to notice the outsized influence Delaware has had on American history, the economy, and our way of life.
Delaware is, above all, a state of neighbors, a network of close-knit communities stretching from the suburbs of Philadelphia to the tranquil beaches of the Atlantic coast, from Delmar’s family farms to Newark’s cutting-edge laboratories. All of America can be found in Delaware’s 2,500 square miles. Our cities, towns, and rural communities are sustained by the dreams and hard work of its residents and the neighborly spirit they share. The diversity of its natural environment, too, mirrors that of the country as a whole, ranging from wetlands to forests and Atlantic beaches to the fertile watershed of rivers that feed the Chesapeake Bay.
This is what makes possible the remarkable but enduring principle we call “The Delaware Way.” Our politics are driven not by partisanship or polemics but by kinship and pragmatism. After each statewide-election, opposing candidates stand side-by-side in our traditional “Return Day” parade, as the people of our state join together in goodwill and a sense of common purpose.
We do this because, as neighbors, we recognize that our fate is bound together. Those of us who call Delaware home know that it is not simply a place to live but a larger community of people who all want the same thing: a safe neighborhood, a good job, and a quality education for our children.
This is one of the reasons why our state is filled with volunteer firefighting companies and why they have played such an important role in our communities. It is why we are home to excellent academic institutions, including one of the nation’s top public research universities. It is why innovative businesses continue to sprout here and why leading multinational companies choose to locate in Delaware.
These same aspirations led Delawareans in 1787 to become the first to ratify the Constitution and inspired Delaware’s revolutionary leader, Caesar Rodney, to embark on his historic eighty-mile ride through the rainy night so he could cast the deciding vote for American independence in Philadelphia in 1776.
Our state is known for its connection to the brave men and women of our Armed Forces serving overseas and their families. In addition to the pride we have in our very own Delaware National Guard, we house Dover Air Force Base, which plays a major role in supporting military operations around the world and has the honor of receiving home our fallen heroes.
Delaware may be a “Small Wonder,” but it has big impact. We hope you’ll visit and explore.