“I really cannot think of words to express my sincerity. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve you and serve the people of this town, serve the people of this county and to serve the people of this state. I look forward to doing more, and I hope that you will continue to love Lewes in a way that I do, in a way that all of us do, because I think what we've done ... allows us to truly lay claim, to earn and have earned the title of the First Town in the First State,” Ted Becker said to Lewes residents and local government officials during a June 17 event celebrating his long service to the city.
The special ceremony highlighted Becker’s accomplishments as a former mayor and councilman, and current commissioner of the Delaware River and Bay Authority. U.S. Sen. Tom Carper not only attended the celebration, but dressed in almost the same outfit as Becker. Fitting, given the amount of service each man has provided to their communities and the state. Carper was the first speaker, introduced by former Mayor Jim Ford, who jokingly wondered where his awards were.
“Mayor Ted, you have helped the people of this community for a long time, not just as a mayor, but in the years that preceded that; and for as long as you live, you will be Mayor Ted Becker,” Carper said.
The awards did not stop coming following Carper’s speech. Mayor Andrew Williams presented Becker with a special gavel and plaque from the City of Lewes. State lawmakers and representatives officially declared Becker an outstanding citizen of Delaware, while mixing in a few laughs. Local leaders spoke fondly of the guidance Becker provided decades before he entered public service, and in the turbulent and uncertain times of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In closing, Becker took the podium to address the room that was packed wall-to-wall with residents, lawmakers, friends, colleagues and family. His speech was about everyone and everything but himself, discussing the leaders of decades past who steered the ship until it was his time to take the helm. He spoke fondly of the work accomplished by the community during his time both in it and serving as a representative for it. He concluded by thanking the volunteers, stressing that without volunteerism, city hall could not function in the manner to which people have become accustomed. He asked that everyone love Lewes the way he does and the way he knows they already do.
The crowd erupted in applause, giving Becker a standing ovation and round of applause that continued for several minutes. A humble Becker just wanted to make sure everyone got to the delicious food he was standing in front of and thanked everyone in attendance for their appreciation.