In 1839, English author Edward Bulwer-Lytton wrote something that all writers hope for, but few attain – a phrase that lives for the ages. That phrase especially resonates today following the murders of the writers and cartoonists working at the Paris publication Charlie Hebdo.
For his London play Richelieu; Or the Conspiracy, Bulwer-Lytton wrote:
“True, this –
Beneath the rule of men entirely great
The pen is mightier than the sword.”
During our own country’s Revolution, the bravery of those who wielded the pen in support of those who carried the sword kept us focused on the path to freedom, and in particular the right to freedom of speech.
Bob Englehart, Cagle Cartoons
Freedom of speech and of the press are rights cherished by all who believe in a free and democratic society. Sadly, hundreds of journalists and writers have died while striving to bring the rest of the world the “truth” about world crises, strife, and mistreatment of others. In the past 20 years alone, more than 1,000 journalists have died while covering the news or simply for sharing their editorial views.
We are all deeply in their debt.
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