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The Wizard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-28-10 09:44 PM
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This is dedicated to a WW II veteran
Jim Bird and I became acquainted on the Internet during the run up to and through the Iraq invasion and occupation.
I learned that he recently died at the age of 90. Jim was not one to mince words. The following is a letter he sent to then Senate Majority Leader, Bill Frist.
Rest in peace brother.

March 10, 2006
Dear Senator Frist:

I disagree with your support for S.J. Res. 12, the proposed constitutional amendment to ban desecration of the flag. I am a combat disabled veteran, a registered Republican, and a long-time New Jersey resident. As a combat disabled veteran of WWII, I take offense at this attempt to gut our right to free speech. It would have been better that McVeigh had burned an American flag than bombing the federal building in Oklahoma City.

I survived eight campaigns in World War II and was awarded a Silver Star and two Purple Hearts for my service. I lost close friends and shed blood to preserve every Americans freedom of political expression, no matter how crude and objectionable. I'moutraged, on the few occasionswhenever a flag is burned, but I feel a greater rage when Congress fails to fully fund healthcare for veterans or to adequately support our troops now in harms way. Spending time on an attempt to amend away our right to free speech is an abomination.

Like many combat veterans, I am distressed that our government must be forced to provide needed services to veterans and others while wasting time and effort advancing a constitutional amendment to criminalize a form of expression. Lawmakers should be assuring American families that when their sons and daughters enter the armed forces they will be properly led, properly trained, properly equipped and properly supplied. Advocating for the first-ever amendment to restrict our First Amendment rights achieves none of these goals.

As a veteran and a conservative, I strongly oppose this effort to insert an unnecessary and freedom-limiting amendment into our nations Constitution.As offensive as desecration of the flag is, there is insufficient reason to amend the Bill of Rights to prevent such rare occurrences. The freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution, which I gave an oath to defend, will mean little if our leaders criminalize nonviolent dissent to score easy political points.

If Congress wants to honor the heroes fighting the war on terror, it should guarantee that every soldier has the body armor to survive combat and adequately fund the Department of Veterans Affairs so veterans get the highest-quality care. Please oppose the flag amendment; it does a disservice to us all.

Rudyard Kipling caught the treatment of veterans many years ago when he wrote the poem TOMMY a.k.a. Tommy Atkins. As Kipling expressed, venerating us with empty words and actions in time of war does nothing to honor our service. The flag amendment is the most empty of all gestures the Senate could make.

Many veterans view the American flag as an alias for the U. S. Constitution - we fought for our buddies and the Constitution, especiallythe Bill of Rights.

"There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes, and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket." Maj Gen. Smedley Butler, USMC . I concur!


James R Bird
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pinboy3niner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-28-10 10:36 PM
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1. Excellent letter. K&R
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Froward69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-28-10 10:38 PM
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2. !
:patriot: RIP :patriot:

The Liberty to Burn any flag, is the same Liberty Our flag represents.
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Glassunion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-29-10 01:04 PM
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3. Wonderful letter!
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