Laramie, A Labor of Love: We went to see the play "Laramie Project" at Framingham High School Saturday evening. It was a SPLENDID play about, of course, the torturous death of the young gay man, Matthew Shepard, in Laramie, Wyoming in 1998 at the hands of two homophobic brutal malcontents. The performance was POWERFUL. It was sold out and we understood why. We absolutely loved it. The actors and the community that showed its incredible support were nothing short of wonderful. It made me proud to be from my town as we drove past the candlelit crowd standing up to the forces of hate exemplified by Fred Phelps and his merry family from the Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas holding their "God hates fags", "God hates Jews" and God hates everyone except us signs. Somehow he thinks he is the only one God loves.
It is astounding that these wretched human beings have the unmitigated gall to actually hold those rancid signs up in front of families mourning the death of our soldiers and their loved ones. How dare they commit such an atrocity? Yes, it is Phelp's free speech rights that our country is loath to curtail. It is the very foundation that makes this nation what it is. That those signs were not ripped apart and Phelps & Co. led off in hand cuffs for incendiary speech is tribute to our system, indeed. We do not do things that way in this country. We simply let these mentally sick misfits hang themselves with their own words.
A THOUSAND kudos to the actors, the director, Ms. Wresinski, and the town. Ms. Wresinski's sentiments that "life isn't about the breaths one takes, but the moments that take one's breath away" echoes our own. We did not join the hundreds that came out in candlelight support and love before the performance. Our hearts were with them though if not in body most certainly in spirit. My mind evokes the lines of one of my favorite poets, John Donne, in his "Meditations": "Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee..."