‘Unbroken’ spurs epiphany
Fifty years ago, last May, I — like millions of other young Americans before and since — raised my right hand and pledged to uphold the Constitution of the United States as a member of the armed forces of our nation.
This morning, the day some of us remember and celebrate that service, I finished reading “Unbroken,” the story of Louis Zamperini, American prisoner of war under the Japanese. For whatever reason, I started the book some years ago and never quite got through it. A creature of the media, however much I hate to admit it, I have been softly struggling with deciding how I feel about persons who refuse to stand during the presentation of our nations flag. Although still at a loss as to coming to a decision on the matter, having read of the suffering endured by those thousands of Americans held in prisoner of war camps, I am seeing the utter anger felt by many in a clearer light.
I know our country was founded for the express purpose of gaining freedom from oppression for its citizens; freedom often un-nurtured and unappreciated and for many, unequally enjoyed. I ask myself: after nearly 250 years under our flag of freedom, why are these rights so dearly won, still not equally shared by all?
Too often our vision is clouded by our own experiential base — our private list of injuries and slights, real and imagined. As I cannot know the agony and deprivation experienced by Mr. Zamperini, I cannot really know the soul-searing emotions generated when a person of color is once again denied the full expression of his or her rights.
Multi-cause, multi-effect: Mistreat any animal (human or other) and it will harbor resentment. Express resentment in a way that penetrates and soon follows the vitriolic reaction. Round and round it goes.
Perhaps, the correct reaction is simply to try to understand. And maybe use our brains to think …
Flag display view is ‘fear-mongering’
This is in response to “From the web” in the Nov. 7 issue of the Sequim Gazette (page A-8) concerning cars displaying the American flag and backed into the Sequim High School parking lot during the school day on Oct. 31:
One responder chose to go low. Really low: “Weird. Flags are not to be paraded about in the back of pick-ups, used as clothing, or symbolic stand for white nationalism, or what-have-you. This is alarming. If I were a young person of color going to that high school, I would feel very threatened. As it is, I am concerned.”
That is total rubbish; nonsense and fear-mongering. Anyone that is offended or intimidated by the flag of our nation has no business being here. Period.
Richard H. Lohrman
Election results a sign of critical times
There is a vivid message from the off-year election results in Virginia, New Jersey, New York City, Maine, et al., which occurred on Tuesday, Nov. 7. Message: “Do not take your civil rights for granted!” Vote!
The only citizens who had rights when the U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1787 were white, property-owning males. All other citizen civil rights have been acquired since, mostly in the past 100 years.
If you value: affordable health care (including Medicare and Medicaid); due process and Rule of Law; free speech; right to vote; right to an abortion; gay marriage; LGBT anti-discrimination; et al., you must speak up and vote.
If you value: benefits from paying your taxes (e.g., government, bridges, roads and their maintenance, public transportation, electric power grids, Social Security, et al.) but not further enriching the rich with your tax payments, you must speak up and vote!
The 2017 proposed Republican “health care” bills were really about $800 billion in tax cuts for the rich. The currently proposed Republican “Tax Reform Bill” not only is mostly billion-dollar tax cuts for the rich but also increases the national debt by about $1.5 trillion.
One might ask: “Where are all those good paying, new jobs Trump promised, and where is the Trump-promised Republican congressional bill to rebuild our aging national infrastructure?” So far, it seems the Trump administration favors Russia and the rich while allowing dirty air and polluted water created by Trump deregulated industries to increase their profits.