“It is fitting that the American people should remember with pride and vigilantly guard the great heritage of liberty, justice and quality under law.”     

— President Dwight D. Eisenhower

One of the longstanding attributes of American culture is a general respect for the rule of law. Without it, no society will long maintain its peaceful day to day activities. Not that America doesn’t have its issues. It does. But so far anyway, no city in the United States compares to, for example, Juarez, Mexico, where approximately 2,000 or more people are murdered yearly in drug related carnage. One may safely assume that respect for the rule of law is not a top priority in such a culture of violence.

To that end, Thursday is Law Day and attorneys for this, the 32nd year the Oklahoma Bar Association has been honoring the day, will be available to offer free legal advice through a toll-free hotline from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. tomorrow.

Interestingly, while Law Day is celebrated across the country, it was a Wewoka attorney who originally came up with the idea of setting aside a special day. The attorney, Hicks Epton, was president of Oklahoma Bar Association in 1953.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower established Law Day nationally in 1958. In 1961, Congress set aside the first of May as the time for Americans to celebrate the day.

The statewide hotline will be staffed by Oklahoma City and Tulsa attorneys who may be reached at (800) 456-8525 or 918-838-8770. Spanish speaking residents may call the same free legal advice hotline numbers and translators will be available to take calls.

Those who feel more comfortable talking with someone locally may phone 436-0871 if they call 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday. Doing so will put them in touch with an attorney from the Pontotoc County Bar Association.

While it is true America is a too litigious society, it is appropriate to set aside one day a year to celebrate the fact that in most cases, Americans’ respect still runs high for legal, rather than violent solutions to their issues.

— Loné Beasley

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