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"Protecting Freedom" article from The Recorder newspaper
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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This editorial, published in the Greenfield Recorder in September of 2001, argues that the best national reaction to threat is to recommit to Constitutional principles and liberties. To many the terrorist bombings of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in 2001 called for a strong governmental response. As had occurred after the Japanese attack on the Pearl Harbor naval base in 1941, the public seemed ready to accept the suspension of Constitutionally guaranteed rights and liberties to facilitate the government's response to the threat. Ever since the Constitution was ratified, different times and events in U.S. history have raised the issue of maintaining a balance between national security and individual freedoms. Massachusetts ratified the United States constitution by a narrow margin in February of 1788. It was among several states that provided their support in exchange for assurances that the Constitution would be amended to provide direct protection for individual freedoms. The resulting guarantees of the Bill of Rights included freedom of speech and freedom of religion. The author of this editorial specifically warns against stigmatizing Muslims and others of Middle Eastern descent.
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