I recently learned that my Grandfather had great respect for the office of the President of the United States. If someone openly criticized the position, he would politely put them in their place. He knew something about patriotic responsibility. Since I heard this story, as his grand daughter, I feel a stronger desire to understand what drove my grandfather to hold such passion for this country.
My professor, Dr. Kathleen Kelsey also recently posed the question: "Is America a free country?" After receiving several nods from the classroom she declared: no. America is not a free country, we're a democracy--nothing comes free. Its true. We are a democracy--a country that relies on the virtue of its people to determine justice and equality. What a responsibility. If we fail, I guess we have no one else to blame but ourselves. (Wouldn't this make a great headline on CNN.com?)
So, with my new found patriotism, I stumbled upon a Facebook--the new marketplace of ideas--link leading to an speech Elder Dallin H. Oaks gave on Constitutional Day, Sept 17. in Salt Lake City. Consider this concept:
"A constitution gives the people and their elected leaders the opportunity to make many decisions that are unwise or even reckless. When that happens — when the government or one of its officials engages in some kind of action that we consider to be wrong — we should engage in vigorous public debate about it. But we should not use up a constitution by attempting to strike down every ill-conceived act of government or to discredit every unwise official. A constitution is the ultimate weapon, and we preserve that weapon best by using it sparingly and carefully. If we call some action unconstitutional, we should be prepared to explain what provision or principle of a constitution it violates. In this way, a constitution can be used to stimulate discussion and to seek unity.
This quote resonated with me. It made me think of powerful words--Action. Responsibility. Respect. I think these words stirred up the same passion within me that my grandfather held so many years ago. I encourage all to read the full address here
God Bless America.