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A Musical Tribute to Freedom (Opening Ceremony)

Posted by Luke on September 10, 2008

Today, Sept. 10, marked the kick-off of the three day event celebrating 100 years of the Mizzou Journalism experience.  So, as one would expect, all the youngsters who are getting their feet wet in the wild world of Journalism were encouraged to go to the event.  Some thought the best way to get them there was an honors assignment, and that’s where I come into play.  When I heard that the last nights of my week would be mostly filled with a celebration I knew next to nothing about, I was less than ecstatic to say the least.  Wednesday was the first day and the opening ceremony I was supposed to cover started at 7:30.  So, as any college kid would do, I sat with some friends until around 7:20, and then called my group leader to ask where the Mizzou Auditorium actually was.  Once I got there, I went down to the bottom of the arena and grabbed a court-side seat.  The fact that I was about fifteen minutes late really wasn’t a problem, since I still had more than enough time to sit and observe those around me.  I imagined a few gray haired veterans of the biz standing on the open stage in front of me, talking for hours on end about the good ol’ days, but after a few moments where I thought my suspicions would be confirmed, the musical guests walked out onto the stage.  When they told everyone they would be playing songs that were banned or at least, spoken out against, I knew the night would be better than what I expected.  They played songs everyone knew like Short People, With a Little Help From My Friends, and Puff the Magic Dragon; along with others that some may have known (although I sure didn’t).  Of course, the purpose of all this music against the man, was to show that our first amendment right to Freedom of Speech is an important part of our society.  Near the end of the night, the speaker made a few points that were truly inspiring.  He told us about some polls that had been taken that said that somewhere in the range or 30-40% of Americans polled said that the first amendment gave people too much freedom.  All I had to say was that no amount of freedom is too much freedom.  Thankfully, the speaker agreed with me and said that we had lost sight of what the founding fathers had so intelligently given to us.  The night ended with one last song and some closing comments, and I left, truly inspired to preserve my rights.  I think Ben sums it up pretty nicely.

Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

– Ben Franklin


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