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Parades and politics

As a retired military person I am proud to have served in two branches of the service. The United States Marines and the United States Army. I understand and know the reasons men and women serve in the armed forces and what the results of over 200 years of fighting have accomplished. Freedom! The Fourth of July parade is a celebration of the freedoms we are privileged to enjoy. It is a time to gather with friends and family to pay tribute to those who have attained this rare commodity. I really do not care for the influx of politicians who come to the people one day out of the year nor do I care to see veterans who are protesting wars or the Brainerd Coalition for Peace marching in this celebratory event. I realize these groups are just "celebrating" their right to protest, but in my view the Fourth of July is not a political parade and If these persons and groups wish to be heard let them do it on some corner in town out of the parade. I see no respect or honor in the participation of the parade on the part of these people or groups. I am asking these groups to not join in the parade anymore, to not make the parade a political statement for your beliefs. Let this be a celebration of life and liberty and remembrance for what has been accomplished in this country.

Doug Francis