Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A celebration of freedom and democracy

Tonight, I sat and watched as Lakewood Ranch citizens discussed, debated, and disagreed over the charter for a proposed city of Lakewood Ranch.

Wonderful, this exercise of free speech.

And I thought back to earlier in the day covering the departure of a team from Southern Manatee Fire and Rescue District, which headed out for New Jersey to retrieve a 12-foot beam from the wreckage of the World Trade Center. That beam will be incorporated in a local 911 memorial.

The team and that sacred beam, which will forever have enormous meaning for Americans after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, is due back in Bradenton Sunday night. What that beam symbolizes to me is the blood of hundreds and hundreds of innocent people who were killed in the attack. And the determination of America to practice democracy as it always has, and for Americans to cling to their personal freedoms.

And I saw a little boy waving goodbye to his father as his truck pulled onto 45th Street East to begin the long drive to New Jersey.

As Fire Chief Foster Gover says, it's enough to give you "goose bumps."

For more, see Thursday's Herald.

Jim

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