Thursday, April 13, 2006

TDIH: Dedication of Jefferson Memorial

On this day in 1943, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt dedicated the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C.

I once wrote an article on the definition of democracy and the importance of laws in democracies in which I quoted the fourth panel of the Jefferson Memorial:

"I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We
might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors."

If there is any other place in the world that I feel as strongly about at Arlington National Cemetery it is the Jefferson Memorial. I love it. I sat their one spring evening weighing my decision on Kent State and fell in love with the structure as well as the beautiful words of our third president, Thomas Jefferson.

I didn't want to let this day go unnoticed. As Tacitus once said: "This I regard as history's highest function, to let no worthy action be uncommemorated."

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