Freedom of speech needs boundaries of respect

Published 5:15 pm Saturday, March 12, 2011

To the Editor:

March 2, 2011; 7:00PM…..I have just finished watching the evening news and, once again, I am upset about something that has bothered me for quite some time.  I don’t usually make a public stand , because, unfortunately, that usually makes you a target for angry remarks.

But, I just cannot ignore this.  Tonight there was a segment covering protestors of our government’s military policies making a stand at the funeral of a young person who had died in one of our military confrontations. 

Do these protestors have the right to show their disagreement with our government’s military policies and actions?  Absolutely!  Do they have the right to publicly declare their disagreement?  Of course!  Should our government allow them to gather at the site of a young military person’s funeral, and in front of the family members and friends, hold up a poster that reads “Thank God for dead soldiers?”  No!

These young people joined the military and went where our government sent them in support of our country’s policies.  Our political leaders determined these policies.  These are the people the protestors should be targeting, NOT the families of young people who died supporting our country and its policies.

My father was a career Navy man who enlisted during WWII.  Did he go because he wanted to be involved in a war that would kill people and destroy countries?  No, he went because he believed in our country and knew that he was one of the ones who had to defend it.

My brother served during the Viet Nam war.  Did he go because he thought it would be exciting to help kill and destroy a country?  No, he was in the Navy and our government sent him overseas.

My husband was a career Navy man during the Viet Nam War.  He left his family for 8, 9 and 13 months at a time because he believed in our country and felt it was his duty to support our government.

Again, I do not disagree that these protestors have the right to protest our government leaders’ decisions.  BUT, they should be demonstrating against the political leaders who made these decisions, NOT against the very people who have given their lives to defend our country and, in addition,  protect these people in their act of disagreeing with our country’s policies.

Can’t our country  hold some things sacred and decide that freedom of speech should have some boundaries of decency and respect?

Carole Farnham