Maybe it is my age. Geezerdom may be descending on me and affecting my view of the world. I am bothered by the notion that our world is populated by self-absorbed people who are focused solely on themselves and lack any interest in who we are as a nation and where we came from. One need only to watch the man-on-the-street interviews on television to see evidence that the interviewees are essentially ignorant of history. They can’t identify national leaders or place within 50 years the dates of the civil war, not to mention what it was all about. What they can do is speak with confidence about who is “twerking” whom and who has posted the latest “selfie.”
Therefore, please allow me to use this space to do the following: first to talk about our Independence Day readings, and second to talk about an additional project that I want to propose.
For several years now we have gathered at courthouses around the state and read the Declaration of Independence. This last July we did so in 60 counties, and we are beginning to have readings in other states around the country. A huge thank you is due to each one of you who has participated thus far. In particular I want to thank Robert Fickman for the countless hours he has spent encouraging us to be involved. He is a true believer in this effort. Without him we would not be where we are with this project. My challenge is to see this important event grow much larger. Please contact me or Robb Fickman as soon as possible and let us know of your interest. We need to shout it out from the rooftops—or at least the courthouse steps all over this state—that this declaration is no less than our birth certificate. It says where we come from and who we are. The social media crowd needs to hear it, and we should try to get more media coverage in every community where it is read.
My other idea is that in February of each year in connection with Constitution Day we should be out in front of these same courthouses reading the Bill of Rights. Just today there was a news item about a survey of high school students in which only four percent knew that the first ten amendments to the Constitution of the United States was called the Bill of Rights. Very few were able to list the three branches of the government. I don’t know whose fault that is, but I know that we could be a part of the solution. TCDLA needs to lead the way in public readings of the Bill of Rights. I’m calling for volunteers to work on a February Bill of Rights reading. If you are interested please contact me or Robb so that we can get started.