MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

August 9, 2013

THE PEOPLE SPEAK – Remember, vets fought for right to disagree


— In a recent letter to the Phoenix, Raymond D. Sewell took another letter-writer to task for disagreeing with George Kesselring’s recent anti-Republican screed. He then hauls out his war record to prove Kesselring’s right to speak out.

Well, as the son, grandson, cousin and brother of veterans (and eternally grateful for their service, especially one uncle who was in a Japanese POW camp), I must remind both Messrs. Sewell and Kesselring that their actions, as well as the actions of everyone who ever served in our armed forces, were to guarantee the right of American citizens to voice their opinions in open forums. This also means that if one states an opinion, one should be ready for agreement or disagreement to that opinion.

Sorry Mr. Sewell, but Kesselring was off base in his letter, and H.R. Ford was right in taking him to task for it. It’s that nasty little document called the Bill of Rights. And as illustrious as Kesselring’s war record sounds, it’s no reason to use it as a cudgel to silence critics. It’s what he fought for — the right to disagree. Please remember that when writing a letter to the editor — someone will disagree or agree, and say so. Especially over letters with questionable or foaming-at-the-mouth statements, such as Kesselring’s comments.

BOB THOMPSON

Muskogee