Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What About Henry Gassaway Davis, Stephen Elkins, or Harley Staggers Day?

State legislators can come up with some good ideas and some not so good ideas.

In this year's session, eleven have decided to sponsor a meausre to make Senator Robert Byrd's birthday a state holiday.

Byrd had one paramount cardinal virtue. Show up for work every day that you possibly can. His efforts to get to votes in his advanced age approached the heroic. How ironic that some want to honor that dedication with giving folks a day off.

Also, let's not forget that Senator Byrd has not been our only legislator of note on the national stage. Harley Staggers served his congressional district faithfully for decades and helped to save railroads in the late 1970s. Henry Gassaway Davis and Stephen Elkins served in the U. S. Senate and helped to build the industrial base that sustains our state today. Arthur Boreman and Francis H. Pierpont risked capture and execution as traitors against the Commonwealth of Virginia to stay loyal to the Union and help create the Mountain State.

I'd like to say that Senator Byrd would be against this, but the man did like having his name attached to stuff. Despite the possibility that he would be elated by this kind of honor, it would be better to recognize his memory at the beginning of every session by having a reading of the United States Constitution and a pledge that each member will have it be his guide. That was Senator Byrd's other sincere political love. Remember him with something productive, not inactivity paid for by the taxpayers.

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