Monday, May 28, 2007

As American As Apple Pie

I believe what makes this country so different from other democracies is the sheer brilliance of the US Constitution, especially those first ten amendments known as the Bill of Rights. I know that to many in the current administration the Constitution is simply a quaint piece of parchment, too 9/10 to have much relevance, but that document is what defines liberty for this nation. When new military recruits take their oath, they swear to defend that Constitution. That's how important it is.

That's why I found this article in today's NY Times to be a fitting reminder of the centrality of the Constitution to our national lives.

Every Sunday for more than two years, rain or shine, they have shown up here, nodded politely to each other across Savannah Road, and stood motionless for 45 minutes like sentinels. They differ in politics but share a faith in the power of silence.

On one side of the street, Jeff Broderick stands alone while he holds a sign. “Their only plan is to cut and run again. It never ever works,” the sign says.

On the other side, Patricia Kirby Gibler stands shoulder to shoulder with dozens of others, staring toward Mr. Broderick and silently holding small cardboard posters with black numbers. One poster states, “3,415 American Dead.” Another reads, “70,023 Iraqi Dead.” ...

Supporters of both sides in the debate over the war in Iraq have gathered here every week since September 2004 at the busiest intersection of this tranquil shore town of about 3,000 residents. In January, an additional group began congregating in silence on a third corner, their signs calling for the president’s impeachment.

Both sides of this debate are exercising their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly over an issue that is wracking this nation. Today, when politicans pull out all the stops to posture and speechify about the glorious sacrifices made by those who served, the silent protest on Savannah Road seems to me to be a more fitting memorial.



Blogger Southern Beale said...

“Their only plan is to cut and run again. It never ever works,” the sign says.

I wonder what kind of sign Mr. Broderick would hold if he didn't have Frank Luntz telling him what to say.

4:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice folks can agree to disagree...
while the killing continues unabated.

5:09 AM  

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