I am writing regarding a proposal that was floated at the last meeting of Nelsonville’s Village Board on June 20 regarding the flying of flags from poles throughout the village showing veterans in uniform. My understanding from the meeting is that the flags would be up year-round and remain permanently.
I would welcome the flying of flags of veterans who sacrificed their lives for our country for a period of time each year — for example, from Memorial Day through July 4th — to honor them and remind us of our debt to them for our freedoms and particularly for the fact that we are still currently free of dictatorship.
However, in my opinion, the permanent, year-round flying of flags throughout the village of men in military uniform is problematic. I feel that it conveys a sense of militarism to see pictures of men in uniform throughout the village on a constant basis. I would urge the village not to approve the proposal for flags that would fly year-round and to seek to have the flags fly only for a portion of the year.
I say this as the daughter and sister of veterans of the military, specifically the U.S. Marine Corps. My father was in the Marines’ Military Police and my brother served at the Marine base at 29 Palms in Joshua Tree, California. Despite being veterans, they also oppose the flying of flags of men in military uniforms that would be up permanently and year-round, for the reason that the constant presence of images of men in military uniform feels to them to be at odds with civilian society.
Heidi Wendel, Nelsonville
Re: the letter about flying the flags of veterans year-round, I agree. There are many other ways and venues to commemorate our veterans.
I lived in Continental Village for 10 years after the end of World War II. Patriotism was understandably high at the time and there were many veterans, including two who fought with the German army and later became U.S. citizens. One of them, Hans Schmidt, was a Continental Village volunteer fireman. As I recall, a flag proposal such as the one suggested to the Nelsonville Village Board was never brought up or considered in Continental Village during the time I lived there. I am a veteran myself and I do think that veterans deserve full credit and recognition for their contributions to our society.