Patriot Day in Gainesville

This is taken from the original proclamation of September 11th as Patriot Day:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim September 11, 2002, as Patriot Day. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities, including remembrance services and candlelight vigils. I also call upon the Governors of the United States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, as well as appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff on Patriot Day. Further, I encourage all Americans to display the flag at half-staff from their homes on that day and to observe a moment of silence beginning at 8:46 a.m. eastern daylight time, or another appropriate commemorative time, to honor the innocent victims who lost their lives as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

I don’t think it had ever entered anyone’s mind that “appropriate ceremonies and activities” would include burning copies of the Koran. But the pastor of a local church (that I will not dignify by naming) thought it would be good to forget all about those who died in the Twin Towers by creating a media spectacle. This has lead to a lot of denouncing and name calling and threats against the safety of  the offending pastor as well as random innocents.

If something good comes of this, at the very least I hope it is the recognition that when a Christian minister steps out of line like this, that large numbers of his own kind will denounce him. The second thing is that you can denounce a person like this without fear of reprisals. This is America, and you have the right to issue opinions both popular and unpopular. Unless the person issuing it is very prominent, opinions in America are not news.

So why did this become news?  Was it the threats from the other side of the world? No, I believe they would not have noticed this in the Middle East without the news media.

Today, I am going to observe Patriot Day by remembering those who died on 9-11, and by using the freedoms that were bought for me with blood: I will do some phone banking for a local political candidate. And I will do some work on my own campaign. I want to make some REAL news.

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