The State of Ohio might be economically troubled, but delegates to American Legion Buckeye Boys State
were promised their government would be one of growth and prosperity.
During Gov. Marquise Lovejoy’s inaugural address Tuesday evening, following the swearing-in of all
elected city, county, state and judicial officials, he announced he knew exactly where BBS is going this
"It is headed towards growth and economic prosperity, towards a state that can work together and is
cooperative, between both parties," he stated. "Every time someone has addressed you, whether
a commander or president, time and time again they have said it is the best in the nation, that it is
number one in the nation. I realize what a privilege and an honor it is to be number one in the nation,
and I won’t let that title slip from our hands."
Acknowledging the whirlwind of activity the delegates had been through in just the first four days with
campaigning or finding a job, Lovejoy encouraged those teens who might have been disappointed in their
circumstances. "Some of you right now have stared at the face of disappointment. To those who have,
I say to you, never lose your confidence. Never give up. Only when you have given up have you truly
failed yourself."
Delegates described as "in high spirits" because they had won their elections, were urged to
"stay grounded. True success comes from staying grounded in your past while heading towards the
In promising that great things will happen at BBS, Lovejoy said he will make sure the law is followed by
"everyone, at every level, everywhere," and that legislation would be looked at thoroughly by
him and his cabinet members before it’s signed into law to make sure it adds to the welfare of all BBS
Two Wood County delegates were honored to be chosen to carry in some of the flags with which every
assembly is opened. Joshua Main of Weston Township, sponsored by Weston Post 409, carried in the white
flag which is the emblem of the American Legion Department of Ohio. Carrying in the official Buckeye
Boys State flag because he was the very first delegate registered for the 2009 program, was Jonathan
Elder of Perrysburg, sponsored by Perrysburg Post 28.
Elder, who is 6 feet 6 inches tall, carried the flag while wearing his black robe as an associate justice
of the BBS Supreme Court. He sat on the stage with BBS Chief Justice Matthew Reed and the other five
associate justices in order to be sworn in by Ohio Chief Justice Thomas Moyer.
As keynote speaker, Moyer described in detail the beauty of the rule of law. He praised the Founding
Fathers for adopting the rule of law, making it "the central fiber that holds us together as a
nation defined by its diversity." While many countries have trouble applying the rule of law, in
America it is applied as equally to a speeder as it is to a terrorist.
Just as a beautiful painting has harmony, order and proportion, so Moyer said there is beauty in the rule
of law, even seen in something like a simple contract. The stately architecture of a courthouse, its
strength and endurance, have ties to the strength and endurance of law.
Even "a skilled trial attorney arguing a case before a judge can really be a work of beauty,"
said Moyer. He drew similarities between some written court decisions to good literature; described the
beauty of a peaceful mediation to a dispute; and the additional beauty of a lawyer who provides free
legal services to the needy.
These are the "aesthetics of the law" which Moyer compared to a man pushing a wheelbarrow – who
is actually building a cathedral.
"Law is beautiful because it works, and that’s why leaders of other countries come here. The law
protects and extends those values we as Americans have held dear since our founding. The law works
because it allows us to correct our mistakes. … The law helps the needy, makes commerce possible and
may encourage you to drive the speed limit.
"The law is really beauty in motion."