Monday, March 17, 2014

"they were now American citizens, and that they had a right to bear arms...."

"...In the absence of Senator Bulla, who was reported sick, Walter F. Haas* addressed the celebrants in a very clever speech. He said that the cause which brought us together was that of humanity, for which the Red Cross was also. The speaker referred to the horrors of the epoch which had preceded the fall of the Bastile, the infamy of lettres de cachet, under which men, whose only crime it was to differ in opinion with the sovereign or those in power, were made to disappear without trial or formality as completely as if the earth had swallowed them up. War had been justifiable in this unbearable situation, and the outcome of it had been Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. The speaker reminded the men of French extraction that, by reason of naturalization, they were now American citizens, and that they had a right to bear arms for the defense or the honor of their adopted country, which is now their country, that of their children and those that will come after these. They had a right to take up rifles for the prevention of the massacre of the people of Cuba. These people will redeem themselves, no matter what is said now to their detriment...."

[The Herald, Los Angeles, Friday Morning, July 15, 1898. Twenty-Fifth Year. No. 288. Pg. 7 - Excerpted from the article; "LE QUATORZE JUILLET, THE FALL OF THE BASTILE CELBRATED AT THE PAVILION, AN INTERESTING PROGRAM, American Speakers Address French Ladies and Gentlemen--Celebration With Noble Purpose"]
* - Walter F. Haas was the city of Los Angeles City Attorney in 1898–1900. He was an elected official whose job was to prosecute all of the misdemeanor criminal offenses within the city of Los Angeles, California. The General Counsel Division of the office provides legal counsel for the city by either defending the city or acting as the plaintiff for the city in all civil lawsuits.

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