Another election day has passed and the vile rhetoric and downright hate spewing from some candidates and voters, both liberal and conservative, is sickening. This was especially true in some area races. These hateful words embarrass us as residents of the community, as well as protectors of the First Amendment of the Constitution. We’re not perfect and we make mistakes, but the venom being shared through the written word of public opinion of a few tempts us to violate our sacred task of upholding the First Amendment and banning all public opinion from being published in our newspaper.
We won’t, make that can’t, do that. Too many people have died to give people that right and many others. We will not let them down.
The price we pay? Hate mail like the most recent from a resident in Marlborough Township claiming that “I’ll never buy your right wing rag again” because we allowed candidates only to publish election-related Letters to the Editor the week before the election. The writer apparently didn’t see that there were letters from Democrats and Republican candidates, or take the time to read the rules that were published in the print edition for four weeks prior to Election Day. Is this another example of Marlborough “hate” and shooting from the lip without verifying their information first?
No matter. We owe it to our veterans to honor the First Amendment of the Constitution, no matter what price we have to pay.
The price of freedom. Many citizens of these great United States too often forget what Memorial Day is all about. Once known as Decoration Day, it commemorated U.S. servicemen who died in the military service.
Originally enacted to honor Union soldiers of the Civil War, it was extended after World War I to honor those who died in all wars. To “celebrate” Memorial Day means to remember all who fought, those who died, those who served and those still serving in defense of this great nation.
Make it a point to attend your local hometown Memorial Day Parade. Put your hand over your heart every time “Old Glory” passes and applaud the veterans as they march by. Most of all fly your flag on this special day.
President Benjamin Harrison once said, "I have never been able to think of the day as one of mourning; I have never quite been able to feel that half-masted flags were appropriate on Decoration Day. I have rather felt that the flag should be at the peak, because those whose dying we commemorate rejoiced in seeing it where their valor placed it. We honor them in a joyous, thankful, triumphant commemoration of what they did."
Make sure you take time to bow your head and pray for those who fought and those who died to give you the freedom to do so. Thank a military veteran for his or her service. Pray for those who serve in harm’s way today, that they may return safely to their loved ones.
Of those who died, President Garfield said, “For love of country they accepted death.”
Always remember, freedom isn’t free.
Take this opportunity to resolve that you will exercise restraint and common sense when expressing your opinion and interacting with others. We are not alike and will not always agree with each other – that’s not an automatic reason to hate.
And don’t insult us by demanding that we violate the very principles of what our veterans fought and died for. They, too, were Democrats and Republicans.