Stegall: Patriotism on Demand Featured

Dear Editor,

Let me begin with the fact that I am an Army veteran of the Korean War. I was drafted and served in Korea during the war for 16 months and was honorably discharged. I’m totally blind and assisted by my guide dog Emilio, family, friends and the Senior Center.

I respect that the Senior Center has attempted to negotiate with the American Legion, but I have significant concerns about what I consider to be patriotism on demand. Patriotism on demand is not new. History has shown its use in Germany, Austria and Japan to name a few. Personally, I don’t want to see history like this recreated.

I understand that the current agreement allows time for those that want the pledge and those that don’t. Will this require some form of inspection to make sure that the Senior Center is complying? If so, those inspecting the compliance should identify themselves. Perhaps by wearing an armband or a specific color of shirt. What about the seniors that might not be able to remember or recite the pledge? Should they be forced to sit at a different table?

All of this is simply ridiculous. We are senior citizens, not elementary school-aged children. The Senior Center provides a great service to the island and they should not be required to negotiate with outside organizations over the way they support the senior community on this island. We as senior citizens should not be required to comply with patriotism on demand.

Jim Stegall

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