Stand for the flag

Letter to the editor

Posted: Thursday, July 22, 2004

I just read the Sunday front-page article "ACLU eyes parade flap" about the parody of President Bush. I want to make three points.

First, the city attorney says the parade committee is a citizen volunteer organization and "the city has no jurisdiction"? Oh, puhleeze! Hey, even a flounder chooses a side - our city government needs to get a backbone and do the right thing. If the city issues a parade permit, it has responsibility for ensuring freedom of speech, even controversial political satire.

Second, I walked through downtown the day after the parade and it looked like a garbage dump. Where is the outrage over the disrespect of our community by the thousands of citizens, both children and adults, who trashed our city by dropping their candy wrappers, coffee cups and other litter on the ground?

Lastly, the focus on the political parody overlooks a more disappointing issue; most citizens didn't even stand for the passing of the Color Guard at the Fourth of July Parade. Good citizenship and patriotism take many forms - limiting freedom of speech is not one of them.

Joel Casto


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