~ Stand up for America! ~
Alabama State Auditor Beth Chapman
Stand Up for America speech, March 2003
I'm here tonight because men and women
of the United States military
have given their lives for my freedom.
I am not here tonight because Sheryl Crowe,
Rosie O'Donnell, Martin Sheen, George Clooney,
or Phil Donahue,
sacrificed their lives for me.
If my memory serves me correctly,
it was not movie stars or musicians,
but the United States Military
who fought on the shores of Iwo Jima,
the jungles of Vietnam,
and the beaches of Normandy.
Tonight, I say we should support the
President of the United States and the U.S. Military
and tell the liberal, tree-hugging,
Birkenstock-wearing, hippy, tie-dyed liberals
to go make their movies and music
and whine somewhere else.
After all, if they lived in Iraq,
they wouldn't be allowed the freedom of speech
they're being given here today.
Ironically, they would be put to death
at the hands of Sadam Husssein or Osama Bin Laden.
I want to know how the very people
who are against war because of the loss of life,
can possibly be the same people who are for abortion?
They are the same people who are for animal rights
but against the rights of the unborn.
The movie stars say they want to go to Iraq
and serve as "human shields" for the Iraqis.
I say let them buy a one-way ticket and go.
No one likes war. I hate war!
But the one thing I hate more is the fact
that this country has been forced into war -
innocent people have lost their lives - -
and there but for the grace of God,
it could have been my brother, my husband,
or even worse my own son.
On December 7, 1941, there are no records of
movie stars treading the blazing waters of
On September 11, 2001; there are no photos
of movie stars standing as "human shields" against
the debris and falling bodies ascending
from the World Trade Center.
There were only policemen and firemen - -
underpaid civil servants who gave their all
with nothing expected in return.
When the USS Cole was bombed,
there were no movie stars guarding the ship - -
Where were the human shields then?
If America's movie stars want to be human shields,
let them shield the gang-ridden streets of Los Angeles,
or New York City, let them shield the lives
of the children of North Birmingham
whose mothers lay them down to sleep
on the floor each night to shelter
them from stray bullets.
If they want to be human shields,
I say let them shield the men and women
of honesty and integrity that epitomizes courage and
the spirit of freedom by wearing the
proud uniforms of the United States Military.
Those are the people who have earned
and deserve shielding!
Throughout the course of history,
this country has remained free,
not because of movie stars and liberal activists,
but because of brave men and women
who hated war too.
However, they lay down their lives
so that we all may live in freedom.
After all - "What greater love hath no man,
that he lay down his life for his friend,"
or in this case a country.
We should give our military honor
and not let their lives be in vain.
If you want to see true human shields,
walk through Arlington Cemetery.
There lie human shields, heroes,
and the BRAVE Americans
who didn't get on television
and talk about being a human shield -
they were human shields.
I thank God tonight for freedom - -
those who bought and paid for it
with their lives in the past - -
those who will protect it in the present and
defend it in the future.
America has remained silent too long!
God-fearing people have remained silent too long!
We must lift our voices united in a humble prayer
to God for guidance and the strength and courage
to sustain us throughout whatever the future may hold.
After the tragic events of Sept. 11th,
my then eleven-year-old son said,
"Terrorism is a war against them and us and
if you're not one of us, then you're one of them".
So in closing tonight, let us be of one accord,
let us stand proud, and let us be the human shields
of prayer, encouragement and support
for the President,
and our country.
Shelby County Alabama Legislative Delegation
hosted a "Stand Up for America Rally."
More than 1,200 people attended.
Mrs. Chapman's speech resulted
in five standing ovations,
tremendous applause and an encore.