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Parade participant

Your reader from Baxter, a veteran of two branches of the service, wishes to have no politicians or protesters riding in the Fourth of July parades because "The Fourth of July parade is a celebration of the freedoms we are privileged to enjoy." He just convinced me to ride in the Brainerd Fourth of July parade for the first time in many years.

I am a veteran and an officeholder and equally proud of both opportunities to serve. Probably less than 5 percent of the people along the parade route will be constituents who can vote for me. That does not diminish the desire to encourage people to participate in the electoral process.

Protest if you like. Hurl snide remarks at the politicians as they pass, if you like. Just remember, many veterans and politicians continue to work to protect those freedoms which we all cherish and are unapologetic when it comes to cheering on those who want to celebrate the existence of the greatest country on earth.

Paul Thiede

Pequot Lakes