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Letter: Instead of waving flag, treat others with respect

Instead of waving flag, treat others with respect

As a Navy vet from the Vietnam era, I love the United States and all of its freedoms as much as any other American, but lately I have become disenchanted with our blind allegiance to the flag and national anthem. What used to be a source of pride for me has become a symbol of hypocrisy.

A country is a collection of people, not totems that we wrap ourselves in. Too many Americans take economic advantage of each other, despise one another because of differing political views, conspire to weaken the voting rights of those who don’t vote for them and engage in racial and sexual discrimination.

Yet they stand and sing at sporting events, wear their flag shirts and hats at political rallies and proudly proclaim themselves to be true Americans. It is time to stop waving the flag and begin to treat each other with dignity and respect.

And before anyone dares to tell me to leave if I don’t like it, to them I say that I have the right to be here and to criticize what I believe to be wrong. The day I no longer have that right is the day I will leave.

Richard A. Piechowicz

Williamsville

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