There's an affecting scene in the movie, Father of the Bride, when Steve Martin's title character, George Banks, rebels against having to pay for more hot dog buns than he actually needs. The weary Banks, has an all-out break-down in the aisle of his local grocery store, accusing hot dog and bun companies of colluding to drive-up the cost of the overall product. While he appears to be an absolute kook to all around him, the viewer knows the exasperated Banks is in truth, responding to circumstances at home, where his wife and daughter have commandeered his checkbook, and are planning what appears to be, the wedding of the century.
Once he's arrested and behind bars, the mother of the bride arrives to castigate her husband, and concedes that she will pay his bail, on the condition that he keep his mouth shut and checkbook open, while she finalizes plans for their daughter's wedding. She further requires, that he do so with a smile upon his face. At a crossroads, George can either stand by his principals, remain jailed, and be characterized the family villain, or submit.
In an apparent effort to keep peace in his family, the beleaguered father of the bride, compromises his integrity, and agrees to the stipulations as set forth by his wife. He forfeits his credit card, and returns home, where he becomes both the family's hero and it's stooge.
On August 28th, hundreds of thousands of people like George Banks, came together in Washington to draw strength from each other in their quest to restore honor and integrity to their own lives, and in turn, to the nation. They came in peace, they rallied in peace, and they dispersed in peace. There was nothing subversive about their actions. On the contrary, they gathered at the feet of their founding fathers, to affirm and celebrate the virtues upon which our nation was founded.
They stood, shoulder to shoulder in the blazing sun, finding wisdom in the words of Abraham Lincoln, and Dr. Martin Luther King, and they saw first hand what honor and courage look like, in the faces of living American heros, whose stories of bravery inspired them. They were told, that there is often pain in standing for something you believe in, and that suffering and honor, often go hand in hand.
They were reminded by two hundred and forty men and women of the cloth, linked arm in arm, that there is a higher power to whom they may turn for help and strength, and were encouraged to boldly do so, in the face of adversity and ridicule, just as those patriots who have gone before them did.
The George Banks of the world, are those that go out of their way to be tolerant and understanding of others, only to find their own rights trampled in return. They are those generous souls that give not only of their excess, but from their need. They are people of faith, that believe they have an equal right to justice. They are not asking for anything that hasn't already been guaranteed them by our existing Charters of Freedom, but they are tired of double standards.
The great silent majority is at a crossroads. It can sit back passively and collectively, and be bullied into submission by fear mongering politicians and the ruling elite, losing its liberty, honor and integrity as it does so, or it can stand up to those trying to intimidate and oppress.
For years, I too have resisted speaking my mind, hiding behind the mantle of civility, anxious to be liked. I realize now however, that it has really been cowardice that has fueled my failure to stand up for what I believe and know to be true and right.
What I remember most, from the Restoring Honor Rally in Washington, are the faces of those around me. As we walked through the throngs of people from across the country, I had a sudden and powerful sense of belonging to something bigger than myself or my immediate family. I was empowered with an energy that I believe our forefathers felt and tried to express when they penned those immortal words, "WE THE PEOPLE . . . "
Before leaving the capitol, Rick and I made a trip to the rotunda at the National Archives, to view the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The docent spoke of the measures being taken to preserve the Charters of Freedom, explaining that the ravages of time, sunlight and handling have taken their toll, fading the names of the signers to the point that most have simply ceased to exist. The same can be said of the text in the body of the two smaller documents.
Its up to us, the George Banks of society, to make sure that the documents' intent, remains intact.