Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Securing Our History

National Park Service requests your opinion.

As last week's thwarted terrorist plan to blow up airplanes departing from London once again open the floodgates of debate about security, the mother of all security questions is right here in Philadelphia:

How do we protect our symbols of freedom without imprisoning them?

The National Park Service is proposing a plan for Independence Park that would erect a seven-foot-high iron fence in the middle of Independence Square that will essentially bisect the park behind Independence Hall.

The Colonial legislature created Independence Park - where citizens first assembled to hear the Declaration of Independence read - and deemed it to remain forever as an open public-gathering spot. The fence would cut the park in half.

The Park Service has extended the public comment period on this issue. The deadline is now Sept. 1.

These symbols belong to the country, but they live in our city - and in our DNA. It's up to us to urge the Park Service to find a better way to protect the symbols of our freedom without putting them behind bars.

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