September 9, 2009

And there they sat,
some agreed and some did not.
All taught as youth,
the tenants of democracy.
Respect the office
if not the man.

One voice spoke to all
until the word was harshly flung.
Liar! then gasps within the pause.
Heads turned to find the voice
whose tongue had struck,
lashed civility at its whipping post.

That word’s echo
replays throughout the land.
The fabric of decorum
a scrim forever rent,
as thread by shred
our dignity is torn.

U.S. President Barack Obama Visits Connecticut Town Where Massacre Still Fresh

Written in respons to a MOOC University of Iowa Writer’s Workshop assignment.
Explanation:  On September 9, 2009, President Obama was addressing Congress when South Carolina Representative Joe Wilson interrupted him by shouting “Liar!” There were audible gasps and stares. It was unprecedented for a president addressing Congress to be heckled. Representative Wilson later apologized and was formally rebuked by Congress. Some critics believe this was a watershed moment in the behavior of politicians. Somehow, I’ve always connected this event to the refrain in the song American Pie, “…the day the music died.”  In my mind, this was the day decorum died. 

2 thoughts on “September 9, 2009

  1. AnnMarie Roselli-Kissack July 24, 2016 / 1:53 pm

    Lillian my friend, I hope this Sunday finds you and your foot well:)
    Long ago Keith and I taught our children to understand the difference between disliking a policy vs disliking a person. It is a lesson I hope they keep their entire lives. And this is merely the beginning, then comes grasping mutual respect, the foundation of any civilized society.
    Your piece here speaks to what is going amiss – fundamental bedrock rights – not the ones inked on parchment – the ones written onto our hearts that are beginning to erode
    am:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian July 24, 2016 / 3:09 pm

      Wonderful words from you my friend. We are on the same page for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

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