Let Washington Speak

Tuesday June 16, 2009

One Standard - Of all the principles we hold dear, there is one that rises above them all. None should be treated differently. All are the same. One standard should govern. Yet, any citizen residing in Washington, D.C. is treated differently than citizens throughout the remaining states. A word of caution, --- If we accept this status --- can be found in the poetry of william Cullen Bryant. Describing a captured African Chieftain, he writes, "His heart was broken - crazed his brain ..., He struggled fiercely with his chain, whispered wept and cried aloud. Yet, wore not long those fatal bands, and once at shut of day, they drew him forth upon the sands, the foul hyena's prey." The "chains" of our current situation will become "fatal bands" if we do nothing. We have already felt their tightening grip!

It is seemingly minor incidents, history often reveals that propel the occurrence of major events. One such event was the creation of Washington, D.C. as the permanent seat of government. The incident that gave rise to this event took place on a certain day in June, 1783.

Meeting in Philadelphia, the still seat-less Congress (which up to this time had met at various places as the exigencies of war demanded) was threatened by a band of mutinous soldiers, dissatisfied because Congress had failed to pay for their military services. Congress requested protection from the Pennsylvania militia but was refused, and for two days held in a state of siege. Outraged by the apparent inadequacies of the itinerant government, the desirability of a capital controlled exclusively by the federal government was underscored.

To be continued

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