Letter - Why I stand on the cornerAs your writer, Mr. Anderson, pointed out in his September 11 [It’s Our Turn] column, war is a reality and a few people standing on a street corner in Alexandria are not going to change that fact.
To the editor:
As your writer, Mr. Anderson, pointed out in his September 11 [It’s Our Turn] column, war is a reality and a few people standing on a street corner in Alexandria are not going to change that fact.
Mr. Anderson should understand the purpose of people standing on corners holding up peace signs is not to stop wars, but rather to remind people in their busy lives that when your country is involved in such expensive and dangerous enterprises, we should all pause and consider the values involved in the effort.
Even our Supreme Court makes room for minority opinions. We don’t have to agree with them, but it is an important part of who we are to make sure that we respectfully make room for those unpopular positions to be expressed.
The people I know who stand on the corner for peace are courageous people who love their country. Protest is an old tradition in our country. Henry David Thoreau went to jail for opposing the war with Mexico, which he thought was illegal and immoral. Abraham Lincoln lost a race for Congress for opposing the same war. Minnesota Congressman Charles Lindbergh opposed our part in WWI and his son, the aviator, opposed our part in WWII.
Mark Twain once pointed out that people who will not read are really no better off than people who cannot read. I would suggest that principle also holds true in freedoms. People who will not exercise their freedoms are no better off than people who cannot exercise their freedoms.
We are often reminded that our troops are in far-off places fighting for our freedoms. To honor their service, we owe it to them to exercise our freedoms. Otherwise, what are they fighting for?