Talon News - Good Local News

By Jacque Ritchie




Assistant Public Defender Graham Gurnee recites Declaration.

Photos and Story By Jacque Ritchie, TALON

On July 3, a small group of judges, courthouse and county staff gathered on the step of the 11th Judicial District Courthouse on Oliver Drive to hear a recitation of the Declaration of Independence. Local members of the New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (NMCDLA) organized the event featuring six speakers, each reading an excerpt of the document. According to NMCDLA spokesperson Allison Mathis, the group hopes to make the reading an annual occasion.

As folks may recall from history class the Declaration of Independence was penned by a guy named Thomas Jefferson and four other fellas, and signed by 56 other rebel-rousers on July 4, 1776. The document, for all its grandeur was basically a 'Dear John' letter to King George of England. In it, our founding fathers spelled out what a despicable tyrrant George was and why exactly we were breaking-up with him. (Thank-you Rachel Maddow for the analogy)

Not to make light of the historical significance of the Declaration, after all it marks the first time we as colonists formally banded together as a group and declared; We are pissed-off and we ain't gonna take it anymore!

These days, on the steps of courthouses all over the state lawyers get together during the Independence Day holiday to remind us that we mustn't be complacent, we cannot (or should not, leastways) sit idle and let lawmakers run-amuck. After all; "when in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands that have connected us to another..." well, there comes a time when 'we the people' gotta take a stand. We need to remember those self-evident truths cause if we don't...as the old adage says, if you pluck a chicken one feather at a time, it won't even notice, and if we don't take notice we'll be cooked for sure!

It was ironic that the Declaration reading took place in the shadow of flags flown at half-mast in memory of the five Capital Gazette journalists and staff killed by a gunman in Annapolis, Maryland on Thursday June 28. We at TALON want to take a moment to salute all those who have struggled and sacrificed to help us all to establish and maintain our precious rights and freedoms.


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