It seems we were in agreement with all but one member of the state House of Representatives when the lower chamber voted 106-1 to pass legislation that would designate Sept. 11 to Sept. 17 — Constitution Day — of every year as Patriot Week in the state of Michigan. And now that the state House has done its work on House Bill (HB) 4464, we urge the state Senate to put the measure sponsored by state Rep. Gail Haines (R-Waterford, West Bloomfield) on its radar soon and give the bill swift passage.
The history behind Patriot Week — which would be a state-designated celebration of America, its founding fathers, and its key documents if the legislation receives the thumbs-up from the Senate — is something all-too-American.
Leah, the then 10-year-old daughter of Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Michael Warren became upset when, in a conversation with her father, she discovered “the ruining of our civic calendars, how they have been stripped of their meaning,” Judge Warren said last month.
It was there in that quintessentially American way — noticing a problem, perhaps in a conversation at the kitchen table, and striving to fix it yourself — that the idea was born.
We can’t say we are inclined to disagree with Warren’s sentiment. Memorial Day and Fourth of July are terrific holidays, of course, forged in the American ethos, but sometimes their meaning becomes muddied amid day-off hoopla. As does the meaning of, for example, Constitution Day. Or other holidays commemorating who we are as a nation and the birthing pains we had to go through as a people to be where we are today.
Since the judge and his daughter had that conversation two years ago, Patriot Week — more information on which can be found at www.patriotweek.org — has been commemorated at the state level each of the past two years with bipartisan approval of a resolution in 2009 by the state Senate, and approval in both chambers of the state Legislature last year.
And we are pleased to see the state House take the lead on the Haines legislation, which every member of the lakes area delegation — Haines, and state Reps. Chuck Moss (R-Orchard Lake), Eileen Kowall (R-Highland, White Lake), Bill Rogers (R-Milford), Hugh Crawford (R-Walled Lake, Wixom), and Lisa Brown (D-West Bloomfield, Commerce, Wolverine Lake) — supported with a “yes” vote.
Haines and everyone else supporting the measure deserve kudos for their work on the commemorative event.
So now it’s the state Senate’s turn to take up the mantle. And if the overwhelming bipartisan backing of the measure in the state House is any indication, we hope and expect to see the same level of across-the-board support in the upper chamber.