IN THIS time of dire crisis and national malaise, the visit to town this past weekend of an original copy of the Declaration of Independence was strangely comforting. The timing was perfect.
My daughter Sophia and I took advantage of the generous opportunity provided to us and a few others by the Georgia Historical Society on Friday night to view the copy at their headquarters prior to the next day’s public event at the Massie School.
This was especially stirring, since as GHS Vice President Laura Garcia-Culler pointed out to us, the Georgia Historical Society is one of the few places on earth where, even if for only one night, you could find a copy of the Declaration and a copy of the U.S. Constitution under one roof. The latter document is Georgia signer Abraham Baldwin’s own copy on permanent display at Hodgson Hall, complete with his hand-written notes.
Americans are going through tough times today — with even tougher times almost certain to come — but it’s nothing, mere child’s play really, compared to what our ancestors went through 230 years ago.
The signers faced certain death by hanging if their bid for freedom failed. Soon after the Declaration’s signing, rampant inflation made colonial money almost worthless. Many times during the long war for independence, George Washington’s soldiers had nothing but a gun and a blanket, in the dead of winter. Some of his troops didn’t even have shoes. Literally almost naked, they fought on to victory.
Tough people, our ancestors.
If our nation could survive all that, surely we can survive the Bush years. Uh... right?
So you see, I still harbor a glimmer of hope that America will find its way through the current time of despair. Perhaps it will take this dire economic emergency to finally cut through our poisonous politics, and the increasingly false, media-driven choice of right vs. left.
One can only hope.
A couple of housekeeping items:
First, we erred last week in Robin Gunn’s “Hear and Now” column. The correct name of the local Assistant Director of Voter Registration is Randolph Slay. We regret the error and apologize profusely to Mr. Slay.
Secondly, in our Fall Arts Preview listings, yours truly erred on the date for the upcoming Jonathan Richman show; it’s actually Oct. 8.
Read more about the Richman show in Jim Reed’s “Noteworthy” column in this issue. CS