Diversity, inclusiveness, fairness, freedom of choice, freedom of expression and freedom of speech are some of the core building blocks of our American culture.
At a SUNY Buffalo graduation ceremony in May, the valedictorian was dressed in her traditional cultural outfit under her graduation robe, leaving only a small opening for her eyes.
Another graduate was wearing a turban as his chosen headgear.
In our country, no person can be compelled to wear a hijab, a niqab, a burka, a turban or any other form of religious/cultural attire. These items of dress are simply matters of personal choice.
On graduation day in June, a young man attending Orchard Park High School was denied the freedom to wear his U.S. Marine Corps sash on the outside of his graduation gown.
This action taken by the Orchard Park school administration was purely arbitrary and served no common good. It was mean-spirited, unpatriotic and truly un-American.
At some time during his service to our country this young Marine may be compelled to make the ultimate sacrifice, so that others can maintain their power and deny other patriotic young men and women like him the freedom to display their pride in the military service they chose to join.
Michael P. Szymanski