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07-04-2010, 11:52 #1
4th of July Message: We Understand Justice & Truth & will Deliver it With our Lives
We Understand Justice and Truth and will Deliver it With our Lives:
Wildland Fire Community,
HAPPY 4th of JULY!HAPPY USA INDEPENDENCE DAY!HAPPY 234 th BIRTHDAY,UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!On 9/12/08 I posted this message below from Shari Downhill and it's pretty sweet. I want to share it again today. The situation was that Shari was poised in front of her TV, the record button under her finger, ready to catch the CNN Hero special on our own Vicki Minor (Wildland Firefighter Foundation) and looked up to find her 14-year-old daughter slumped on the couch doing her homework, unenthused, bangs in face... Read on... Ab.
Shari's story:I asked Emily what her assignment was. (After puffing air up through her bangs to show her disinterest…) She told me “Memorizing the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States.”
“And” I asked her, “how far have you gotten?”….
“Hmm, ‘We the people…’ ”
“….and…??? That’s it?”
I had her read it to me out of her notebook to make sure she’d copied it correctly before we launched into etching this foundational piece into her brain cells.
This is important. Pay attention. (Paying attention is ALWAYS a good idea, even if you don’t agree with what’s being said.)
To clarify…according to Wikipedia…
~~~The Preamble to the United States Constitution is an introductory statement of the fundamental purposes and guiding principles which the Constitution is meant to serve. It expresses what the Founding Fathers thought the Constitution meant and what they hoped to achieve. ~~~
Okay…here we go…“We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”My daughter looks up at me after reading this. Her bangs are still in her face. She is still unenthused and disinterested. She is my fourth. Poor girl. I can see it in her eyes. She sees “a lesson” coming right at her like a train engine at night.
We start with a memory sentence to help her remember the key points of the Preamble. The words in this sentence MUST start with the first letter of each critical word or concept in the Preamble. This is what we came up with: W…U...J…T…D…W…L (oh yea…and O for that “Ordaining stuff…) I told her the only way to really remember something is to reach out and to see meaning in it. Ya gotta feeeel it, baby…
“Yea…okay mom.” (At least the bangs are out of her eyes now. I think it’s the decibel of my voice that has caught her attention.)
Our memory sentence: “We Understand Justice and Truth and will Deliver it With our Lives…" and this is what it stands for:
W – We the People of the United States of America
U – in order to form a more perfect Union,
J – establish Justice
T – insure domestic Tranquility
D – provide for the common Defense
W – promote the general Welfare
L – secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity…
…do Ordain and establish the Constitution of the United States of America.
And it turns into a call back sequence:
Me- “Who are WE, Emily?”
Em- “The People of the United States!”
Me- What do we UNDERSTAND Em?“…in order to form a more perfect UNION…”Me- “Yea, you know…like we have at home here…because we’re SO PEACEFUL & CALM. (This cracks her up because it’s so far from the truth…especially right now in the middle of fire season.)
“…insure domestic TRANQUILITY”“…provide for the common DEFENSE”Me- “What does THAT mean, Em?...(Blank look.) So, I say…”Go to the next one for a hint.”“…promote the general WELFARE”Me- “Good. Now go back to your memory sentence. “We Understand Justice and Truth and will Deliver it With our Lives.” I remind her of the firefighters who died in the Iron 44 Helicopter Crash incident. It was both close in time and proximity, so I knew she would understand what “Delivering it with our LIVES” really meant. It means doing something you believe in, in order to serve the larger good, to serve our community, to protect our people and our land… and be willing to lay down your life doing it. Lay down your life… That means “To Die.” That’s a pretty significant sacrifice. (The bangs are now nowhere near her eyes.)“…secure the blessings of LIBERTY to ourselves and our posterity”Me- “Who’s “our posterity” Em?
Em- ”Our children and our grandchildren.”“…do Ordain and establish the Constitution of the United States of America.And then … Epiphany!
McCain and Obama move your a$$s over…
VICKI MINOR FOR PRESIDENT!
We didn’t get to see the CNN special last night, but now I know why I wanted to. I’m now closer to realizing why I respect and listen to Vicki Minor and wholeheartedly support the work she has accomplished personally with the Wildland Firefighter Foundation, and INSPIRED thousands of others to take action to accomplish.
Rowdy said it right. (Right on Rowdy…) Vicki is wonderful as an individual, yes. But her most wondrous and profound attribute is that she has that soul level stature and strength to issue a call to action, and we BELIEVE in her enough to FOLLOW her. THAT is what a true leader does. And THAT is the cloth our Founding Fathers & Mothers were cut from. That is something we need to remember and to help our children remember.
Anything that doesn’t stand up to the Litmus test of our Constitution - which includes all of those key ideas in the Preamble - need to be challenged, even if it pisses off someone in the WO. If we look at the work the WFF does under the leadership of Vicki Minor, that’s exactly what’s being done. If you’ve ever seen Vicki challenging a violation of a wildland firefighter’s welfare, right to justice or tranquility, you’ll see true passion and determination in action. There is a fierceness fueled by a belief in justice and truth.
I’m pleased to report that my daughter is now able to recite the ENTIRE Preamble to the Constitution of the United States of America… and she knows what it means. Our lesson helped remind me, too.
Vicki, thank you for inspiring us and for helping us to be better people.
Once again… All together now… ”We Understand Justice and Truth and will Deliver it with our Lives.” Now you know the Preamble too. Welcome to the United States.