Letters for Oct. 24, 2016

‘Respect of patriotism’ column needs correction

A couple days ago, I sat down and wrote a piece about patriotism and respect for the flag of our nation. As I sat to write this, I had no intention of sending it to the newspaper. I was just writing down my feelings. I often do that. By the time I finished writing the letter, I knew that I would be sending it to The Garden Island and hoped that they would print it.

My letter was printed in the Oct. 22 newspaper. To my disbelief and disappointment, there was one very important word left out which changed the whole meaning of my letter.

In the letter that I emailed to TGI, and copied to several other people, including Kimo Rosen for his blog, I specifically wrote “It DOES NOT represent the government.” I was referring to our nation’s flag. TGI changed that to “It does represent the government.”

Now I don’t know if this was done intentionally, or if it was just a typo. Or maybe the editor did not understand what I was trying to say and decided to print it that way.

Whatever the reason, or lack thereof, I feel compelled to clarify the intentions of what I wrote. And hopefully, all, or at least some of the readers will get to read this clarification.

When I wrote, “It DOES NOT represent the government” (of course I was referring to the American flag), I meant exactly that. It does not represent the politicians that we put into office and then lie to the American public. It does not represent the bureaucrats that make poor decisions that affect all of us in our lives. It does not represent the big government and big buildings in Washington, D.C.

But it does represent the people of our nation that have fought to defend our constitutional rights and for the American citizen that has the right to choose their representatives to defend those rights in Congress and in the White House.

The flag of the United States of America waves over all government buildings, including the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. It’s there as a reminder to those elected individuals that they represent the American people who have chosen them to do a job.

I’ll state it clearly once again, and perhaps this message will be relayed to any and all Americans that feel compelled to dishonor the flag of our nation. The flag of the United States of America represents the PEOPLE of our great nation. It DOES NOT represent the “government” that has so blatantly moved to cause those freedoms to perish. The government to which the protest is directed.

Please consider who you are dishonoring when you take a knee or turn your back on the American flag.

Larry Arruda, Kapaa

– Editor’s note: The word “not” was removed from the original letter during formatting, as the words were being changed from upper to lower case. It was not removed intentionally.

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