27 May 2001
Laura Meade Kirk
The Providence Journal
75 Fountain Avenue
Providence, Rhode Island 02902
Constantine's Circus, Inc. has written to the nation's 49 top state troopers and Hawaii's State Sheriff inviting them to write and submit an inspirational poem in support of the peace process in Northern Ireland. In view of the starring role in which we have cast Col. Ed Culhane in this initiative, if your paper would like to do a story, that's fifty places you can call for a great quote. That would certainly remind those worthy individuals of their obligation to put pen to paper and take a little time/to produce some rhyme. We could do a lot worse/than to ask them for verse!
I'm sure that you will agree that the Colonel is an excellent choice to spearhead an initiative such as this. The evidence that supports that argument has been on the editorial page of your paper often enough over the past eleven years. He is such a sterling example to all other cops.
Interestingly, a while back, you published my comment that he is probably the only top cop in America who would submit a poem to the newspaper for publication. Well, at least this once, we feel it important that they all give it a try. My late father was a trooper and I know that troopers can do anything -- even write a poem.
Tom Constantine, who was the Colonel's boss with the New York State Police, was selected just a year ago this week to oversee a major reform of Northern Ireland's police agency -- the Royal Ulster Constabulary. This is a key component of the peace process there that was initiated with the Good Friday Peace Agreement in 1998. There are many people in the province who grew to distrust and even to hate and fear their police during the years of the Troubles. Thus major change must be effected and the people have to believe that it is for real. Life in the troubled province has changed dramatically since this new begining. Still, the peace remains fragile and the process has a long way to go. The Colonel and I are both very proud of our friend Tom's participation in this historic task. As he is a trooper, we know he can do it.
Many have said that the communities party to the Good Friday Agreement had to reach for such new ways of thinking and envisioning their journey to a new order that it is itself a kind of poetry. I heartily agree. I'd even call it epic poetry because it is the story of the whole community and from our point of view, the hero we have our eye on, our own Good Sir Tom, is not only a very noble knight, but he epitomizes something that Ireland once gave to the world and that we now have the privilege of giving back as good as new -- a good old Irish cop.
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