The Week Just Passed: Working together to ensure a brighter future
"Washington, D.C. and the nation paused yesterday to remember the 50th Anniversary of one of the galvanizing moments of the civil rights movement - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream' address.
On August 28, 1963, Dr. King delivered what would ultimately turn out to be a 17-minute speech, much of it delivered "off-the-cuff' to include these now-famous phrases:
"I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.'
"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
"I have a dream today.'
"Of course, yesterday, on the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington, there were plenty of speeches. Many words flowed from the podium standing in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial.
"As is usually the case, the most timeless message was uttered by Dr. King himself years ago: "We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.'
"As we reflect on the anniversary, we would do well to re-commit ourselves to ensuring equality for every American and working together to ensure a brighter future for our children and their children."
Recommended Reading: Julie Hattam, writing in the Tuesday edition of The Hill, "IRS Finalizes Penalty for Obamacare Mandate."
As the week ends, the White House appears to be confirming widespread media reports that a U.S.- led attack on the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad, in reaction to the alleged chemical weapons attack on Syrian civilians earlier this month, is imminent.
The President's response could have significant impact on the ongoing bloody Syrian civil war and the entire Middle East. Clearly, the options facing the President are complicated, could have far-reaching ramifications on U.S. and allied interests, and may require significant American resources.
Rodney issued this statement earlier this week: "The President must consult with Congress no matter what his final plans on Syria may be. And, just as importantly, he must speak to the American people about his decision."
If U.S. action is imminent, it is the hope that the President does not forget his obligations -- to Congress, but, also, to speak directly to the American people.
Recommended Reading: Wednesday editorial in the Wall Street Journal," Loose Lips on Syria. U.S. leaks tell Assad he can relax. The bombing will be brief and limited."
Recommended Reading: Michael O'Hanlon, writing in Politico that the U.S. needs a long-term strategy for Syria. Read "The Real Issue in Syria" here.
Constituent Services: Going the Extra Mile 40 Years Later
A recent Veterans of Foreign Wars Magazine marked the fortieth anniversary of a destructive fire at the St. Louis, Missouri Veterans Records Center which destroyed hundreds of thousands of records of Army personnel who were discharged between November 1912 and January 1960.
"My great constituent service staff continues to work on veterans' cases whose solutions have proven more difficult to resolve because of that devastating fire long ago," Rodney said. "We owe a debt of gratitude not only to the veterans who served, but also to those at the VA who have labored so long to recreate all those files by visiting bases, examining hospital records and taking information sent by veterans and their families! Without their effort, my office would not be able to resolve benefit claims, deal with health care issues and obtain campaign medals!"