We soon will be celebrating Independence Day.
Think about it: July 4, Independence Day. Do your children even know what we're celebrating, or do they think we go to firework displays and eat hot dogs and hamburgers on the same date every year just because we feel like it?
I'm sure we're all fed up with politics right about now. Makes you feel like not voting at all. Please, for heavens sake, go to the polls and exercise your right to decide who will run our country for the next four years.
I am so tired of hearing people say that their vote won't count because they are just one person. What if everybody felt that way? Also, if you don't vote, don't write to the paper and gripe about the president, the Senate, the Congress or anybody else on the ballot. As far as I'm concerned, if you don't vote, you don't have the right to criticize.
And please, folks, stop talking about the soldiers risking their lives every day in the line of duty. Talk as much as you want about the war itself. If you're against it, let every one know. But don't treat our servicemen like outcasts. They are human beings. They are heroes. They do not deserve to be chastised for something they believe in. Who knows? They might not believe in the war itself, but they still follow orders.
My husband was in Vietnam. I remember meeting him at the airport when he came home. I was among a handful of people there. Thank God he didn't encounter the hate some of his fellow soldiers felt from angry Americans. Again, many people did not agree with the war. Too many people thought that carrying signs and protesting against the government was far more important than actually going to the polls.
These young men and women are human beings. More importantly, they are American citizens. They do not deserve anything less than a hero's welcome home. They have families here struggling to survive in an atmosphere of hate.
Please explain to your children what our forefathers did to make this country free. Tell them about other countries who do not allow their citizens the right to decide who their leader will be.
Tell them about families and children being killed because they want the freedoms America has - the freedom to express our beliefs, the freedom to bring our children up in the religion we believe best for our way of life, the freedom to choose our careers. Even the freedom to go into a grocery store and have anything we need available to purchase.
Show your strength. Make your children proud. Vote. And then, if your candidate does not follow through with his promises, make sure he does not get another chance.
Thank you for the patience to read this. The government in some other countries would not allow it to be printed.
Pat Fickle is a Martinez resident.
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