Opinion | Letter: A positive Constitution Week
Naz, Manuel, Melissa, Heera, Nermin: These are the names that immediately come to mind when I think of the high school students I taught when I was an ESL teacher. So, in 2017, when I attended the keynote speech the last evening of Constitution Week in Grand Lake, I walked out of the presentation midway nearly in tears — tears of anger. The speaker made it clear that he did not have a heart for Dreamers, and some of my students were refugees or Dreamers. I wanted to tell that man about those kids. I swore to never go back to a Constitution Week event.
But a friend convinced some of us to march in the parade this year, as Democrats, encouraging folks to vote. And we had inside information that the keynote speaker would not be so biased. I was, nevertheless, afraid that an angry crowd, not the local Republicans that I know and like, but ultra-right outsiders, would make me feel uncomfortable and again bring me to tears.
Well, I did have to hold back tears because I witnessed a crowd of Americans, many of whom waved and smiled, and if not, at least they stood politely and watched as we walked by carrying our “Vote” banner and a few signs promoting Colorado Democrats. I felt so encouraged in a time when many of our news programs present only the divisiveness that is in our country.
The keynote speech was informative and unbiased though the speaker did tell us his politics: Professor David Garrow, calling himself a Democratic progressive. But the crowd who stayed for his erudite speech could learn about the Constitution. It was the sort of presentation where I wished I had been taking notes.
Thank you to the friend who encouraged many of us to show up and walk. Thank you to the organizers for making Constitution Week less divisive. Next year I look forward to prayers from clergy that will include Americans of all faiths, but one step at a time, I suppose. For now I’m feeling pretty good about the town of Grand Lake and the changes in Constitution Week. It was a beautiful and grand day in the county.
Linda H. Spaet, Granby
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