Lieutenant Commander Joshua Corney has recently fallen victim to the local government when all he was trying to do was honor the fallen soldiers of this great country. Joshua Corney is a naval officer, who is currently not on active duty. He resides in a small town in Pennsylvania and each night he practices his first amendment right. On his private five acre property in Pennsylvania, he plays the military bugle, a recording of taps, each night at 8 p.m. Joshua Corney plays this music each night as a salute to the men and women who served our country but did not make it back home.
In his small town of Glen Rock, Pennsylvania, he received one complaint about the music being too loud. He obliged by turning the volume down and moving the speaker away from his neighbor’s property. He has been playing the taps for two years now and has just received his second complaint. This second complaint was from another neighbor, but instead of them solve the issue directly with Lieutenant Commander Joshua Corney, the neighbors went straight to the authorities. In this small town, most neighbors are able to solve problems and issues civilly without any authorities. They are able to use their neighborly communication and friendships to compromise.
This lieutenant was willing to work with the first compliant and was greatly surprised by this second complaint. All the neighbors know why Joshua Corney is playing this music for less than one minute each night. Rather than honoring these heroes together as a community, some decided that this was too much to pay for the men and women who gave their lives. The local officials sided with the neighbors and rather than supporting Joshua Corney’s first amendment rights they did the opposite. The local officials visited Joshua Corney and told him that he could only play the music on holidays and on Sundays. They warned him that if he was to play it on other days that he would be fined 3,000 dollars. This large fine was enough to have Joshua Corney seek legal counsel.
Joshua Corney could not believe that for playing less than a one minute salute each night to fallen heroes that he would be charged with a fine. He sought help from the ACLU who is now fighting to help this Lieutenant maintain his first amendment rights. The ACLU is defendants of the Constitution who are consistently taking on cases that go against the Constitution. They work to defend people’s rights, especially those outlined specifically in the Constitution. Since Joshua Corney was practicing his freedom of speech on his own property at a decent hour there is no reason why the local authorities should have been involved.
Joshua Corney was surprised that his small town Republican town would not support his decision to play this tribute each night to support and honor fallen heroes. As Americans, and especially republicans, he thought they would all be honored to help him celebrate his fallen heroes. This one minute a day tribute is a small price for all Americans to pay in exchange for the thousands of Americans who have given their lives to serve this great country. The least that America could do for these fallen veterans and this current serviceman is to support their first amendment right.