Saturday, May 26, 2007


For nearly 140 years, the last weekend in May has been a time for Americans to pause and honor those soldiers who have fallen in the defense of freedom. As the conflict in Iraq rages on, we are constantly reminded of the incalculable debt of gratitude we owe our soldiers, sailors and marines.

The sacrifices of those we honor on Memorial Day stand as supreme testimony of their allegiance to that one document that sets the United States apart from any other nation on Earth - our Constitution.

Our Constitution makes it undeniably clear that the government is the servant of the people - not the converse. Our Constitution reserves the power of self determination for the people - not the government. Our Constitution guarantees that the rights enumerated within are not the nebulous province of the collective, but individual rights to be enjoyed by all who love freedom. As many have demonstrated time and time again, the ideals and principles embodied in our Constitution are well worth fighting for, and dying for.

When those who join the armed forces take their oath, they swear to uphold and defend the whole Constitution - not just the passages they like, or those amendments ‘approved’ by the media, or those amendments that agree with the political agenda of some Hollywood celebrity. Embracing and defending our Constitution is an all or nothing proposition - a notion driven home every Memorial Day by the sea of flags marking the graves of our courageous vets.

Unfortunately, in the Illinois General Assembly we have people like Senator Dan Kotowski who apparently believes that the Bill of Rights can be salami-sliced to toss out provisions that he doesn’t like or obliterate rights that frighten him. Millions of brave Americans did not die just so that Dan Kotowski could reinvent America. Kotowski’s shameful disloyalty to our Constitution is a slap in the face to all who have sacrificed so much in the name of freedom.

Memorial Day is a reminder to all of us that we must do our part to honor the memory of our fallen heroes. Take some time this weekend to mark the grave of a vet. Donate generously to veterans’ organizations. When a gun controller attacks the 2nd Amendment, respond vigorously. Defend the honor of all those who have died to preserve and protect our entire Constitution.