Letters To The Editor

Dear Editor,

I’m confused. Maybe it’s the almost 31 years in the military that has me confused. Or maybe it’s that I don’t understand the local culture, being white and having been born and raised in East Harlem in New York City in a multi-racial neighborhood. During the 1970’s (not sure of the year) the U.S. Supreme Court declared that it was an expression of free speech to burn the flag of our nation, which led to the flag being displayed on underwear, trampled during mob scenes and desecrated, all in the name of free speech. As you can read from the preamble leading up to what I’m about to admit about my confusion, why is it that one person can complain about a historical flag that causes a museum to close? And now it seems some are complaining about civil war monuments. In Massachusetts you will find gravestones honoring English dead alongside American dead. In Vicksburg National Cemetery the heroes of both sides lay alongside each other.

Is there some intolerance going on, discrimination, or maybe, just maybe, someone is trying to use their elected status. Freedom of speech and expression cuts both ways. That’s my confusion. What I’m not hearing nor witnessing is one word, it seems quite a few have forgotten it in favor of their own personal agenda. The word is PATRIOTISM. For those who have served and those now serving, honor them by being mindful of their sacrifice and do everything you can to strengthen our community, not destroy it. The past is the past. Let it be so.

John Stenner,