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September 13, 2012     Cheney Free Press
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September 13, 2012

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Page 4 Free Press OPI[]NION Thursday, September 13, 2012 Constitution Week asks some key questions about history By DR. JANET NORBY Constitution Committee chair, Esther Reed Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution Each year The President of the United States, in accordance with Public Law 915, proclaims the week of Sept. 17-23 as Consti- tution Week. Traditionally both our gover- nor and our mayor also issue such procla- mations. Regrettably, many of us give little thought to these proclamations, and may everbe unaware of why they are issued. Most of us are fully aware of the sig- nificance of the date July 4,1776, but fewer regard Sept. 17,1787, as being a date of equal significance to our national life. Yetit was on that date 225 years ago that our United States of America officially became a new nation governed not by a King, but by a Constitu- tion hammered out in only four months by delegates from the original 13 colonies. The delegates' radical belief that people Letters could and would rise to the task of self-gov- ernance clearly flew in the face of the long thrust of history in which it was believed that kings ruled by "divine right", and that ordinary people could never be capable of self-governance. Just how revolutionary these delegates' ideas were, is suggested by the words James Madison spoke at the conclusion of their Constitutional delibera- tions: "The happy union of these states is a wonder, their Constitution a miracle; their example the hope of liberty throughout the world." On that September day, the success of this new experiment in what has been called "ordered liberty" would begin to be tested. Constitutional Convention delegate, Dr. James McHenry, noted in his memoirs that when Benjamin Franklin left Indepen- dence Hall on the final day of deliberations regarding the Constitution, he was asked by a lady, "Well doctor, what have we got- a republic or a monarchy?" To which Frank- lin replied, "A republic, madam," and then Cowan's experience makes Rich Rich built a business here, North by Northwest Productions, which currently employs 30 people in the Spokane office. Rich made a conscious com- mitment to base North by North- west's productions in the Spo- kane area. Why? Because he knew those productions would create hundreds of jobs and generate millions of dollars for our local economy. Through the years, he's contributed hours of pro- him the right candidate bono work for many area non- profits. He's shown he cares about Eastern Washington. When Rich left North by North- west to run for Congress, he left the company debt-free. Does it sound like Rich knows how to balance a budget? Rich Cowan is the best candidate to represent the 5th Congres- sional District that I've seen in years. Olivette Orme Spokane I had the opportunity to meet Rich Cowan the other night. It seemed to me everything he's done to this point has prepared him to represent the 5th Congres- sional District in Washington, DC. Rich grew up in Spokane and at- tended WSU. He raised his family here and sent his kids to Lewis and Clark High School. He's served numer- ous non-profits as a member of their boards of directors. You think he knows our community? added, "If you can keep it!" While this story may be apocryphal, the caution it expressed was very real. It was true then, and is still true today; "we have a republic, if we can keep it." Keeping it was not regarded as an easy task in 1787, nor has it ever proven to be such. Yet some now fear that today's citizens, complacent about their freedoms and given the press of their daily lives, are forgetting how vital our individual roles are to the preservation of that Republic. Cer- tainly the speed and stress of our daily lives make this understandable, yet if we reflect upon the early patriots and the sacrifices they made in the name of the Republic, and upon those later patriots who fought and died to preserve it, it seems little to ask that each of us take time- at least during Con- stitution Week-to consider, "Have I fully accepted my civic responsibility?" Our group will be asking that question of themselves this week. You too, might want to consider a few of the questions we'll be addressing: 1. What am I teaching my children about the responsibilities of citizenship? 2. How informed am I regarding the Constitution, and how can I become better informed? 3. What do I make of the words written in the Preamble to the Constitution? "We the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and to secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. 4. Am I willing to accept the responsi- bility for voting not only in my own best interests, but also in the best interests of the Republic? 5. Am I willing to struggle honestly with the hard issues? For example, the Founding Fathers struggled mightily with finding a good balance between federal and state sov- ereignty. How do I see that balance given that today our mobile population may be subject to the laws of one state today and those of another state tomorrow? We hope you will join with us in recog- nizing Sept. 17-23, asa time to reflect upon our Constitution, our Republic, and our Citizenship. We'll be doing that publicly Saturday, Sept. 15 at 2 p.m., near the Park Bench Restaurant in Manito Park at our costumed Constitution Day Event. Please joinus. . 1 t JVritet0the Point Reliving Sept. 11 in the New Orleans mint By JAMES EIK StaffReporter Two years face with rem- nants of the World Trade Center. I was vis- iting family in New Orleans on a warm summer day, much like one in Spo- ag 0, I came face-to- James Eik kane only with extra humidity where even the humidity was humid. We walked through the old New Orleans mint building, just outside the French Quarter. Sounds of nearby vendors shout- ing out their deals of the day could be overheard as we were entering the building. It's a gor- geous place, really, a three-level brick building encased in a black steel fence. The basement floor was where metal became usable currency, producing gold and silver coins from 1838 to 1861 and again from 1879 to 1909. Walking up the marble stair- case, our steps echoing off the walls, I wasn't sure what to expect. The second floor of the building had been turned into a museum of sorts, and was practically like the continuous content you'd hear from the Ad Council on the radio. "Turn off the lights before you leave the house," "Don't do drugs," and "Save some money for a rainy day" were all among the messages in competition for prominence in an exhibit hall. A rusty beam and yellow police tape down the hall didn't really stand out. Coming close to it, however, a pair of dusty black work shoes brought tears to my eyes. The World Trade Center dis- play was enclosed in a semicircle of glass, preserved for us to see. Chunks of concrete in various sizes were placed on the bottom of the simple display. Rust coated strips of metal that looked as though they were nothing more than tissue paper. Some cabling, stripped of its plastic covering and splayed out like a network of dry tree branches, was poking out from the center. I was in middle school when that damage took place, when that metal twisted and turned into something unrecognizable. But, those black work shoes still stick out in my memory. They were enclosed in their own special glass box, still bearing the dust from now 11 years ago, making them more of a gray color than black. Laces were loose on one shoe, tied on the other. Those shoes even had a special platform on which they lay. Looking down, I saw the shoes were about my size. My size. You can guess what my next thought was. Life tends to be a lot like that exhibit in New Orleans. Mes- sages come at us from various sources, whether ifs an advertise- ment, a parent or just common sense. "Turn off the lights before you leave the house," "Don't do drugs," and "Save some tnoney for a rainy day" all become the norm. It's only when Sept. 11 comes around that we truly pay attention to it once again, when we slowly walk toward it during the course of the year. Yet, our nation profoundly changed that Tuesday morning. The difference is unmistakable: Osama bin Laden is dead, the Sept. 11 memorial is now open and our efforts in Afghanistan continue. But most of all, a gap in the New York City skyline remains. FREE PRESS Vol. Publisher Editor Harlan Shellabarger John McCallum Sales Reporters Steve Barge Paul Delaney Carol Campbell James Eik DeeAnn Gibb Becky Thomas ll6-No. 21 Press Production Manager Randy Warwick Pressmen Mark Cordes Ed Geary Graphics Bookkeeper Front Office John Myers Debi Labish Rubi Geary Karen Robinette Rosa Lopez The Editorial Board is composed of Paul Delaney, James Eik, Bill lift, John McCallum, Harlan Shellabarger, Becky Thomas The Cheney Free Press is published every Thursday by the Free Press Publishing Company, William Ifft, president. Periodical postage paid at Cheney, Wash. 99004. Published at 1616 W. First Street, Cheney, Wash. 99004. OSTMAsTER: changes to: Send address Chney Free Press, P.O. Box 218, Cheney, Wash. 99004-0218. ID PUBLICATION # 102240 The Free Press requests that contributors observe the following deadlines, which will be strictly enforced: OBITUARIES MEETINGS OF GOVERNMENTAGENCIES -- Tuesday, 10 a.m. CHURCH. WEDDINGS. CLUB MEETINGS. ALL SOCIAL NEWS- Monday, noon DISPLAY ADVERTISING Monday, 4 p.m. LEGAL NOTICES Monday, 5 p.m. CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING Tuesday, 11 a.m. Rates: Addresses in Spokane County, $24 per year; $36 per year outside Spokane County; senior citizens in Spokane County, $22 per year. For other rates, call 235-6184. Subscription cancellations are non-refundable! HOW TO CONTACT US Letters We welcome letters to the editor of 350 words or less. Deadline is Monday at 4 p.m. Letters must be signed and include a daytime phone number. We reserve the right to edit for length, style, policy and libel laws. Phone: 235-6184 Fax: 235-2887 emaih online at Your Cheney Free Press editorial staff John McCallum Editor Main contact for anything regarding editorial coverage. Covers all Cheney High School sports, Eastern Washington University news. jmac @ chene yfreepress, com Becky Thomas Staff Reporter Covers all Cheney government, community and school district news and events. becky @ cheneyfreepress. com James Eik Staff Reporter Covers all Medical Lake government, community and school district news as well as Airway Heights news. james@ cheneyfreepress, coEo Paul Delaney Staff Reporter Covers all Medical Lake High School and Eastern Washing- ton University sports. Contact for miscellaneous sports. pdeLane y @ cheneyfreepress. com