Letters to the Editor

Posted: Friday, December 14, 2001

Americans should understand what Bill of Rights mean to them

Many Americans are unaware that Saturday is Bill of Rights Day, a civic holiday proclaimed to celebrate, honor and recognize the importance of our Bill of Rights, which is the defender of our freedoms and liberties.

This day was signed into practice Dec. 15, 1941, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt just one week after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. That was 150 years following the ratification of the first 10 amendments to the United States Constitution.

This great document declares that we have inalienable rights that the government must recognize and respect. It also provides procedures for defending our rights. Without these rights, we would certainly not enjoy the freedom that many have defended for more than 200 years.

Our Bill of Rights: the first 10 amendments to the Constitution

1. Freedom of religion and speech, freedom of the press, right to assemble peaceably, right to petition the government about grievances.

2. Right to keep and bear arms.

3. Consent required to house soldiers during peacetime.

4. Unreasonable searches and seizures prohibited.

5. Rights of those accused of crimes.

6. Right to a fair trial and public defense.

7. Right to a trial by jury.

8. No cruel and unusual punishments.

9. We cannot be denied these rights.

10. Reserves all powers not given to the national government to the states or the people.

We all should learn and understand our Bill of Rights. We could then understand the great sacrifices that have been and shall be made to preserve our freedom. Perhaps then we could learn to resist adopting new laws and regulations, which will diminish our liberties. I believe we can better defend our country and community by respecting and understanding our rights and our heritage. I hope we all learn to respect and defend the principles that make our democracy strong.

James Price, Nikiski

Peninsula schools should postBill of Rights for all students to see

Freedom is often discussed in this country, but do we really remember what gives us that right? The Bill of Rights is a series of 10 amendments to the Constitution of the United States. These amendments guarantee certain rights with which the government cannot interfere.

An Anchorage newspaper recently published a letter submitted by a Fairbanks resident. In this letter, it was stated that the local school district will be displaying a framed copy of the Bill of Rights in the hallways of all school buildings.

I would like to present a challenge.

As home schoolers, my family has the Bill of Rights posted in our schooling area. I am reminded of our freedoms every day. James Madison and other great men made this a possibility. If not for them, we would be ruled by the government as if they were the Taliban.

Yes, my challenge would be for schools on the Kenai Peninsula to post the Bill of Rights in the hallways for children to see, read and take to heart.

Just an idea.

Molly McIsaac 12 years old, eighth grade Soldotna

No child should be forgotten during Christmas season

Christmas is a special day of the year when children are taught about the birth of Christ and to share gifts with one another.

So many children are forgotten on this special day of the year. Growing up, I was lucky if I got a new pair of shoes or a homemade shirt for a Christmas present. However, I was always proud to get any present from my mom and dad on Christmas.

Nothing hurts a child any more than being totally forgotten on Christmas. People sometimes forget they were all children at one time. It hurts a child to be left out on their birthdays or at Christmas time, and especially those children who are separated from their parents and are placed in foster homes.

No one knows what is going to happen on this earth from one day to the next. I truly hope that no child is forgotten on Christmas day, so let's all pitch in and help the unfortunate children this Christmas.

Merry Christmas to all, and may God bless everyone this Christmas.

James Bounds, Kenai

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