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After reading all the articles in the paper on the pros and cons of the Fourth of July parade, I felt I should set the record straight.
I know a good many of the people who serve on the Fourth of July committee. Most of them are senior citizens, and I can honestly state that these volunteers who receive no compensation for their hard work are tireless in their efforts to bring the public a great parade.
They meet in the evenings at a restaurant for many, many months before the actual parade begins, laying out plans and ironing out the potential problems to give the citizens of Juneau the best parade possible.
They do not receive any compensation from the city or the state. The only money received comes from the parade entry fees and award sponsors.
The parade is for the young people and for adults that are young at heart, and is not for a political statement or a military commitment. These opinions should be handled separately.
No one in the committee intends to violate a person's First Amendment rights, but just good taste and proper decorum should be observed.
Several statements have been made about the individual who wore the Bush mask. He was not a parade entrant and just jumped in.
Also, the comment by the individual who was offended by the military men with their weapons obviously believes that freedom is free. This is not the case. Freedom is not free. It was garnered by dedicated veterans who fought for their country, and this individual needs to be educated on that fact. Weapons are part of a military man's equipment.
May the dedicated committee continue to keep up the good work.