Defending the Constitution – Why 9/11/2001 still matters today (11 years later)
“It is Tuesday morning, the 11th of September… and you will not forget this date.”
(TV reporter, unknown, reporting from NYC as events unfolded on the morning of 9/11…)
11 years ago today, the most horrific attack ever carried out on American soil claimed the lives of thousands of Americans, making clear that “there’ll be no shelter here – front lines are everywhere.”
Looking back, it occurred to me that I’ve since spent most anniversaries of that fateful Tuesday morning – forever burned into the American psyche as, simply, 9/11 – on duty away from home.
2002: Afghanistan; 2003: Fort Benning, Georgia; 2005: Operation Katrina, New Orleans (hurricane disaster relief/recovery operations); 2006: Fort Bragg, North Carolina; 2009: Camp Williams, Utah; and last year, 2011: Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania.
My experience in this regard is hardly unique – indeed, I’ve spent less time on duty away from home than many others who proudly wear the uniform – a mere token of service willingly rendered in defense of our nation, and the Constitution we are sworn to support and defend.
Sadly, many of the men and women in uniform serving on that day and since – military, NYC Police & Port Authority, and FDNY – were not “invited” to the 10th anniversary of 9/11 at Ground Zero ’due to “lack of room”. Funny – they weren’t “invited” on that fateful day in 2001 either – they just “showed up” and did what needed to be done.
However, America isn’t about the politicians, officials, and various muckety-mucks who were pontificating at that “official” event and others today.
America is about the brave people – often bearing only the proud title of “Citizen” – who just “show up” to do what needs doing.
Defending the Constitution – Why 9/11 still matters today (reprise)
Clear The Bench Colorado joins millions of Americans across the country in somber remembrance of the 9/11 attacks on our nation.
What does this have to do with holding our Colorado Supreme Court justices accountable to the rule of law and the Colorado Constitution? Quite a lot, actually…
As a proud veteran of the U.S. military (including service in the Colorado Army National Guard), I take my oath of enlistment – “I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the State of Colorado [emphasis added] against all enemies, foreign and domestic” - seriously; very seriously.
Many of our elected (and unelected) officials seem to have a much more cavalier attitude towards their own oath of office.
Colorado Supreme Court justices also swear a similar oath on taking office, which begins:
“I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Colorado.”
Note that the judicial oath of office does not state “I will support only those parts of the Constitution that I like or with which I personally agree or empathize.”
Yet the Mullarkey Court has consistently ruled against the Colorado Constitution’s Article X, Section 20 (TABOR) in every case it has heard – despite the clear intent and letter of the law that “[i]ts preferred interpretation shall reasonably restrain most the growth of government.”
The Mullarkey Majority (Justices Michael Bender, Alex Martinez, Nancy Rice, Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey) are oathbreakers – and dishonor the service of the men and women of the United States military and law enforcement agencies who put their lives on the line to support and defend our Constitution. They have proven themselves unworthy of the high office they occupy.
Another important lesson of 9/11 is that individuals matter – and fighting to defend your rights, and your lives, is the only way to preserve your rights (and your life, in extremis) when under attack. The true heroes of that day were not only the firefighters but also the ordinary citizens who acted to save lives – and the brave passengers on Flight 93 who fought back against the hijackers on the 4th plane and died not as victims, but as American heroes.
We can no longer be under any illusion – as the passengers on Flight 93 discovered – that our rights and lives are NOT under attack; we are threatened by enemies both foreign and domestic. The nature of the threat (and appropriate response) is different, but the need to take action, to defend your rights – remains the same.
Clear The Bench Colorado will, with your support, continue to promote transparency and accountability in the Colorado judiciary, informing the public to increase awareness of the substantial public policy implications of an unrestrained activism and political agendas in the courts. We will continue to work to educate voters and provide information of relevance related to the judicial branch, and to provide useful and substantive evaluations of judicial performance.
Ultimately, though – it’s worth the effort.