National Society Magna Charta Dames and Barons

Presentations 2002


JULY 3, 2002

Remarks by: (note bookmarks)

Stephen J. Harmelin, Esquire, Managing Partner Dilworth Paxson LLP and Co-Chair Magna Carta in Philadelphia Committee
(Presentation and Introductions)

Dr. John Templeton, Deacon Proclamation Presbyterian Church

Lewis L. Neilson, Jr. Esquire, Chancellor Nat Soc Magna Charta Dames & Barons
(Pledge of Allegiance)

Judge Becker, Chief Judge U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and Co-Chair Magna Carta in Philadelphia Committee
(Presentation and Introduction of Donald Murphy)

Donald W. Murphy, Deputy Director, National Park Service

Judge Becker
(Introduction of Lord Goldsmith)

Link to Address by Lord Goldsmith

Stephen J. Harmelin

    Welcome to Philadelphia. My name is Steve Harmelin. I am Co-Chair of the Magna Carta in Philadelphia Committee. We are delighted that you are here and particularly delighted on July 3, when lots of people would like to be at their summer homes, that you take the time to join us. It is reminiscent of an anecdote about the end of the Constitutional Convention which was held in immense secrecy and at the end of it, Doctor Benjamin Franklin, an elderly gentleman, came out from the hall and the question on everyone=s mind was the form of government chosen by the delegates. Would we be a monarchy or would we be republic? A woman walked up and asked that question of Doctor Franklin and his response was "a republic if you can keep it.@ That by showing up events like this and exercising your rights as American Citizens we feel ever confident that we can keep it.

    Lord and Lady Goldsmith, Sir Thomas Harris, Commissioners of the Delaware River Port Authority, the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, to all of you welcome to the opening of the Magna Carta Exhibition at the Independence Visitors Center and this luncheon is part of that program. Lord Goldsmith, it is more than appropriate that the National Archives chose to permit the Magna Carta, generously donated to it by Ross Perot, to reside for the next twelve to fifteen months with Independence National Historic Park while repairs and restorations are completed where it is on permanent display at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC.

    In close proximity to Independence Hall, to the Liberty Bell, to the magnificent facility under construction to house the National Constitution Center, what has been arrayed here and assembled is an extraordinary collection of symbols in support of mankind=s aspirations for freedom and our enduring need for the rule of law. Among Great Britain=s many gifts to the world perhaps one of the greatest is the English language itself. Here in this City and in this Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that language caught fire. Both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were drafted and signed within a mile of where we are gathered. Less than a hundred miles away, in a small town called Gettysburg, in Pennsylvania, a weary and embattled President Abraham Lincoln reminded his countrymen in the midst of a terrible civil war that our forefathers established here a nation that was "conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal@. That, sir, is what we the people did here in this city. Today we are gathered to celebrate the presence of that member of freedom first ignited on the fields of Runnymede over 700 years ago when the first Magna Carta was signed by King John and the Barons. Particularly, this year, we are here to pay tribute to this ancestor of our own Constitution and to reaffirm, to reaffirm without qualification, that no terrorist attack will ever extinguish our flame of freedom.

    And no threat has or ever will cause this nation, or yours, sir, to deviate from our historic mission of defending our civilization and our values against assault from whatever source or location in the world. Thank you.

    It is my particular pleasure also to thank, very briefly, a list of people whose names I=m going to read and ask to stand because a lot of people were involved in making this event and the presence of Magna Carta possible. I would ask that you hold your applause to the very end. To the Delaware River Port Authority, Manny Stamatakis, the chairman, and any commissioner in the room. To my fellow board members from the board of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority. To Jerry Lenfest who at a critical time gave the support necessary to make sure this would happen. To the Cigna Foundation who at the very inception gave us the seed money to begin this project. To Doctor John Templeton who helped us with his support. To the staff of the Independence National Historic Park, Doris Fannelli, Chief of Cultural Resources, Karie Diethorn Chief Curator, Chris Schillizzi, Chief of Interpretation, Dennis Reidenbach, Acting Superintendent, Martha Aikens, former Superintendent, for Philadelphia. We cannot express enough our appreciation for all of that. To the Independence Visitor=s Center where this Magna Carta is housed, Bill Moore, President and CEO. To Lynn Axelroth and to Molly McEnteer director of marketing. Thanks very much. To the Library Company which has permitted us to exhibit some of their most valuable documents with the exhibition. To John Van Horn, Librarian, and James Green, Assistant Librarian

    To Doctor Nathan Stolow, working with the Perot Foundation of Dallas, Texas, whose job is to keep safe a document that as you know is now over 705 years old. He=s done a tremendous job. To Dan Bosin and Michael Williams of Day and Zimmerman who turned a space that was never intended to be used for a museum into one of museum quality. To the National Archives. To Governor John Carlin.

    Particularly to Ted Neilson was so instrumental in putting together this luncheon, the National Chancellor of the Magna Charta Dames and Barons. His work was just simply outstanding. To Matt Dupee of the English Speaking Union who told us from day one that this luncheon would be successful and to a doubting audience that people would arrive here. He was right. Thank you Matt very much.

    To Oliver Franklin, Honorary British Counsel. To the Greater Philadelphia Tourist and Marketing Committee, Meryl Levitz and Gabby McNamara. To Welcome America, Kyle Lewis. To Sharel Rothenberg of the British American Business Council. To Trish Kowalski, Executive Assistant to Judge Becker, and to Julie Meyer and to Marina McLure of our office, the Dilworth Firm, whose help made it possible for me to participate in this.

    At this point I would like introduce Doctor John Templeton. Doctor Templeton is a renowned Pediatric Surgeon and author of the definitive textbook in the field. He is a pioneering foundation executive whose foundation=s mission is to encourage progress in the scientific and religious areas. He is a Deacon of the Proclamation Presbyterian Church and he will provide us with the Invocation.

Dr. John Templeton

    Thank you. Let us pray. Heavily Father, you are the author and creator of all our past, our present and our future. We are deeply grateful to you for the countless blessings which you shower in our lives. We give thanks especially for our families and the love and support they provide. We give thanks for our vocations and the numerous opportunities we have to be of service to others. But today, we are especially thankful to be citizens of free countries, and for our heritage of freedom which in the words of the Magna Carta comes from your grace. In our own heritage, we have learned that in your eyes all men are created equal. You have endowed us with certain inalienable rights including the rights of equal protection under the law, the right of property and the right to duly elected leadership, all deriving from the words of your servants in the Magna Carta.

    Lord, as we meet together today, we are mindful that many in the world do not have such freedoms. We pray that the liberties we cherish may never be extinguished so that these precious liberties may continue to serve as a beacon to the world. We pray for all our elected leaders both in Britain and our President, our 50 state governors and our thousands of representatives in Congress and in State Government, that with wisdom and justice they will preserve and defend this fragile experiment in representative democracy, an experiment which came to life in American by your divine providence. We pray for a rebirth of citizenship in which all citizens will honor their country by exercising their right to vote and will serve their country and those in need in the spirit of gratitude for all that you have provided.

    Finally, Dear Lord, we give thanks for the food which we are about to receive, for those who prepared this food and for those who serve it. We pray that this food will nourish our bodies just as your word nourishes our spirits. We ask these things in your everlasting name, Oh Lord. Amen.

Steve Harmelin

    The pledge of allegiance will now be led by Ted Neilson.

Ted Neilson

    I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Thank you.

Steve Harmelin

    There is no ambiguity on that subject in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Enjoy your lunch.

Steve Harmelin

    Judge Edward R. Becker is the Chief Judge of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Becker is this year’s recipient of the American Judicature Society Devitt Distinguished Service to Justice Award which was given to him for a lifetime career, to quote that document "…which embodies tireless efforts to improve the quality of justice…" This is the highest award that can be bestowed upon a Federal Judge. But perhaps, of importance to this particular gathering, Judge Becker is the man without whose vision and energy and tenacity and humor this opening and this luncheon simply would not have been possible. Thank you. Judge Becker.

Judge Becker

(Extract of remarks)

    Thanks to you for those kind words. It was a partnership. Steve and I did it together. I did most of the organizing and as a Federal Judge I have to again do the disclaimer that I had nothing to do with the fund-raising. Steve did the fund-raising. Steve and I have been close friends for 35 years. We first met in the ill fated Specter for Mayor Campaign in 1967. In all events, everything that Steve does he does well and although we were the ones that conceived it, it could not have been done, obviously, without the help of many people that Steve has named. Many of you were at the opening and got to see the Magna Carta. If you were not, I would walk over after this luncheon and see this document.

    Now this document is not the first Magna Carta. The first Magna Carta was the one signed on the plain of Runnymede in 1215 when King John acceded to the demands of the barons and confirmed Magna Carta with his seal and when he did so he was acknowledging that no man, not even the King, is above the law.

    The most famous passage from Magna Carta established that A... No free man shall be taken, imprisoned, . . . or in any other way destroyed . . . except by the lawful judgment of his peers, or by the law of the land...@. Now the law professors here, there are a number of them, will tell you that the law of the land is translated as due process of law. The notion of due process of law, the provision of due process of law, is the centerpiece of our Constitution and Bill of Rights and of the many State Constitutions. And it goes on A...To no one will we deny or delay, right or justice.@ But due process is not the only provision of our Bill of Rights whose source was Magna Carta: the protection against self incrimination; the right to speedy and public trial; the right to trial by jury; the prohibition against excessive bail; and the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.

    Now the document on exhibit, as I said, is not the first of the Magna Cartas. It is the last and, I submit, it is the last and most complete and the most important. There were a number of Magna Cartas executed during the thirteenth century and essentially what happened was that the barons ganged up on the King and he signed the Magna Carta and a year later he tore it up so they had to gang up on him again. King John, and his son, King Henry, and then his grandson, King Edward, executed a number of Magna Cartas.

    Seventeen of them still exist, fifteen are in England, one is in Australia and this one, the 1297 Edward I Magna Carta, is in the United States. There is a very interesting history of how it was preserved and essentially it was a family, the Brudenell family, that somehow got hold of this document and kept it for years. The most famous member of the Brudenell family was Lord Cardigan the leader of the infamous charge of the light brigade. It lay in the north of England for a couple of hundred years and during World War II it was taken to the local records office in Northumberland because the Germans were bombing. And after World War II, somebody in the family had it examined and they called the British Museum said "we think we have a Magna Carta" and the guy at the British Museum said "yes and you are also the Great Great Grandson of George III." Anyhow they examined it and it was this Edward I Magna Carta. Ultimately they had to put it up for auction to fix up the ancestral home of the family and H. Ross Perot bought it at auction for a million and a half dollars. During the course of this exhibit we had to get it insured and it was appraised by Sothebys at thirty million dollars. Mr. Perot gave it to the United States, to the Archives, and the only place you can see this document outside of Washington DC is Philadelphia.

    I submit that it is the most important of all of the Magna Cartas because it is the one which was entered onto the Statute Rolls of England and that gave it special status.

    But how did it get here? Well the bottom line essentially is that it was not honored by British monarchs for a number of centuries. It was discovered by Sir Edward Coke, another predecessor of Lord Goldsmith, Attorney General under Queen Elizabeth, a very prominent legal figure in Elizabethan England. In Coke’s Institutes of the Law of England Magna Carta was resurrected. Now what is important about that is that the colonists read and were familiar with Coke’s Institutes of the Law of England. They transported Magna Carta, which was written about by Coke, to the United States and it was incorporated into the Colonial Charters and into the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. That is the manner of transmission.

    In this exhibit you will not only see this magnificently preserved 705 year old document but others courtesy of the Library Company of Pennsylvania, and John Van Horn, Librarian, and Jim Green, Assistant Librarian, are here, that was founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1733. After you pass through and see the Magna Carta you will see William Penn's personal copy of Coke's Institutes of The Law of England and you will also see Benjamin Franklin=s personal copy of the Magna Carta. That tells you about the importance of Magna Carta to out liberties and to our polity.

    When Steve and I brought Magna Carta here in 1987 it was here for three months and it was seen by three hundred thousand people. This time it will be here for a year, or over a year, while they are fixing up the National Archives, and we hope it will be seen by well over a million people. We hope that you will talk it up. Frankly one of the reasons Steve and I were so interested in doing this is to attract more tourists to Philadelphia. Surely the Delaware River Port Authority and Jerry Lenfest and the other major funders have done a wonderful deed in helping us bring the Magna Carta.

    I thank you all for coming.

    I think that this would be an appropriate time, although we don’t have wine glasses on the tables, to offer toasts. The first is a toast to the President and then a toast to the Queen. I will ask that Sir Thomas Harris, Her Majesty’s Consul General and Director General for Trade and Investment in the USA, for a toast to the President and then Matt Dupee, President of the Philadelphia English Speaking Union, to offer a toast to the Queen. After that, we will dine and then we will have remarks by Deputy Director Murphy.

Toast to the President given by Sir Thomas Harris

    Distinguished guests. Ladies and gentlemen. Please rise. Join me in a toast to the President of the United States.

Toast to Her Majesty the Queen given by Matt Dupee

    Please remain standing and charge your glasses. It is an honor and privilege to have distinguished guests today and to join in this Jubilee Year toast to Her Majesty the Queen who is celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of her reign. We have talked earlier about a legacy which has come down through documents and the legacy of her reign not only indicates a proud past but a glorious future. I ask you all to charge your glasses and raise a toast to Her Majesty, the Queen.

Judge Becker

    I want to introduce other first speaker, Donald W. Murphy, Deputy Director of the National Park Service. He was appointed Deputy Director of the National Park Service in September of 2001. He assists in managing 385 national park units covering approximately 84 million acres. Before entering on duty Don Murphy served as the Director of the California Department of Parks and Recreation and he has also been the Director of the Department of Parks and Recreation for the City of Sacramento

    Don Murphy is more than a parks administrator you will forgive me for introducing him a second time today as a Renaissance man. But that is only because he is a Renaissance man. He obtained his bachelor=s degree in molecular and cellular biology from the University of California at San Diego and has three years of study toward a Ph.D. in biochemistry but I don=t think that he is going back. I think he likes his Park job too much. He is an accomplished and published poet. I will not ask him to read his poetry today but I am told it is pretty good.

    He began his career in parks and recreation as a state park ranger and has served as the district superintendent of a number of districts, including one which you have all heard of, the Big Sur District, also the Chino Hills District and also the Plumas Eureka District in Plumas County. He has served an institution you are all familiar with, he has served as President of Hearst Castle Preservation Foundation. Don Murphy has spoken nationwide on the subject of the Land and Water Conservation Fund. He has co-founded the Americans for our Heritage and Recreation, an organization dedicated a full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Don Murphy will you favor us with some remarks.

Donald W. Murphy, Deputy Director, National Park Service

    Thank you for the honor of having me here this afternoon to make a few remarks. They will be brief.

    I did want to say just a couple of words about the National Park Service and the partnerships we have with you here in Philadelphia and what they mean to us and what they really mean to the nation.

    I am thinking about the National Park Service right now. We have been doing a lot of thinking about what the National Park Service is and what it means to the nation. Our National Leadership Council has been brooding over these ideas for some time. The other day in Washington, at the conclusion of one of our meetings and a long series of seminars that we had over a period of about six months, we had a whole series on education.

    I have to say that I was one of the biggest critics going in, and listening to these seminars about the National Park Service becoming an educational institution and getting more involved with education, I was concerned about mission creep.

    I was concerned about the fact that we have wonderful educational institutions out there, and why would the National Park Service suddenly call itself an educational institution.

    As we discussed this and went through these seminars, something extremely important came out of that discussion for me. I personally had an epiphany that I ended up sharing with the rest of my colleagues as we were talking about that.

    It was that the National Park Service is really more than just an educational institution that provides opportunities. If anything, it is a meta* educational institution.

    The National Park Service is really about sharing with all Americans and visitors to this country, the soul, the soul of this nation.

    For me, it simply dawned on me that heritage, the heritage that we observed here at Independence, is really about the soul this country. It is about what made this country, what it is, and all over this nation, whether you are talking about Yosemite or you are talking about Independence or you are talking about Gettysburg or you are talking about the lynching exhibit which the National Park Service is very courageous to put on down at the Martin Luther King National Heritage Site, it is all talking about who we are as a people.

    In partnership with you here in Philadelphia, we are telling the story of the birth of this nation and what sustains this nation and it really can’t happen without the partnerships that we have here with all of the bodies, all of the organizations that have been mentioned here earlier. I am not going to try to name all of them, because I fear that I would forget to name someone.

    But these partnerships are extremely important to us in the National Park Service. Even though ours is a public institution, it is charged with communicating the soul of this nation to its citizens. It cannot be done without the hundreds and thousands of public, private, state and local institutions that are telling the story in partnership with us.

    That is evidenced in the Visitors Center; it is evidenced in the new Independence National Center that is going up. All over this great City these partnerships are in evidence and what it is going into is a wonderful network and system of parks working hand in hand to communicate to the citizens, the soul of this nation.

    What brought us here today, the Magna Carta, the Great Charter, to me is a magnificent story about a struggle for an idea. That fundamental and central idea is about individual freedom and the laws that end up guaranteeing those individual freedoms. But, then, I do not stop there.

    My minor in college was philosophy so I am constantly asking other questions and I take Einstein at his word when he said "never stop questioning." We need to question why individual liberty is important, and why these rules of law that guaranteed these individual freedoms will survive -- why are they important?

    This is personal with me in terms of my own contemplation about that. It really has to do with the survival of our human mind and the ideas that proceed out of our human mind -- these ideas for which many people have struggled and died, yet we only hear of a few hints of them.

    We certainly saw it in the Lights of Liberty last night, these ideas people have bled and died for, these individual freedoms that we are talking about here today. They came at a horrific price.

    It is because of these ideas that ensued from the human mind, people banded together and decided that they were worth fighting and dying for. These ideas assure that we would have the privilege to be here to continue to exercise our more fundamental evolutionary right to continue to exercise the genius of the individual human mind.

    Ultimately, for me, this perpetuation of the human mind and its ideas is so that the human spirit can survive and continue to evolve and create -- we have no idea what.

    I sometimes sit and wonder when I am in a National Park what will our evolutionary direction be. But I do know that it ensues out of the fundamental thoughts and ideas that come from the human mind which to me is the greatest evolutionary achievement that we have reached as human beings.

    Without the work of the men and women that struggled for these individual liberties, without what has happened and without the protection of the Magna Carta as a kind of a foundation for that, we would not be enjoying the liberties and we would not be continuing to evolve as human beings.

    I am hoping that, that evolution will let us continue as human beings and will draw us closer as it has our brothers and sisters in England where we are now sharing a common heritage.

    In turn, that reminds me that one day this evolution will lead to a common humanity, a common heritage, evolving and trying to bring us together in a more peaceful understanding and peaceful co-existence amongst each other.

Thank you.

*meta <philosophy> /me't*/ or /may't*/ or (Commonwealth) /mee't*/ A prefix meaning one level of description higher. If X is some concept then meta-X is data about, or processes operating on, X. [FOLDOC, Free Online dictionary of Computing, from the department of computing, Imperial college of Science, Technology, and Medicine, University of London.


Judge Becker.

    I will now introduce our principal speaker, the Right Honorable Lord Goldsmith QC, Her Majesty's Attorney General. Lord Goldsmith, for those of you who are among the illuminati, is a Liverpudlian which means that he is from Liverpool and one of his claims to fame is that he went to the same high school as John Lennon. He is a graduate of Cambridge University and the University of London. He had a brilliant legal career. He was Chairman of the Bar of England and Wales.

    There are many many lawyers here and there are also many many judges here. I'd say there are a dozen judges from the U.S. District Count for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania here, Lord Goldsmith. Lawyers and Judges are very interested in pro bono and in providing the delivery of legal services to those who can not afford it. I can tell you that not only has Lord Goldsmith been a leader of pro bono in England and has created a Council, indeed he still sits on it as Attorney General. But at ten minutes of eight this morning, Lord Goldsmith went with me at the headquarters of the Philadelphia Bar Association meeting with the Delivery of Legal Services Committee hearing the tremendous pro bono work that is going on in Philadelphia. He is a very busy man but that commitment is reflected by his presence for over an hour and a half this morning being with the Delivery of Legal Services Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association.

As Attorney General he is the chief legal advisor to the government. He is a member of the Blair cabinet. He is the Director of Public Prosecution that is he is in charge of all public prosecution in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. He was also the Prime Minister's personal representative to the Convention for the European Charter of Fundamental Rights. I give you, Lord Goldsmith.

Address by Lord Goldsmith - Link to


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