Americans can best support troops by upholding rights of all others

Posted: Thursday, July 17, 2003

I am writing in response to Mr. Webster's actions toward demonstrators. I am saddened by those who do not support our troops who are literally laying down their lives for our right to walk the streets of America freely. I am grateful for the men and woman who serve on our police forces, for they enforce the laws that protect those freedoms here at home.

I also have a son who is in Baghdad at this time. I fear for his life and I am proud that he has chosen to serve his country and fight for our freedom and for the people of Iraq. I have been the mother of two Marines who have served overseas during the Gulf war.

I can understand the emotions Mr. Webster was feeling. But terrorism doesn't start out big, it starts small. If allowed to happen on a small scale then it will grow.

Mr. Webster crossed the line when he doused the protesters. They also are protected under the same laws and privileges as everyone else. We may not agree with their opinions, but they have the right to peaceful demonstration and safety on our streets.

I feel we can best show our support for our sons and daughters serving at home and abroad by upholding the rights of others to peacefully voice their opinions and by peacefully voicing our own.

We try to teach our children in school to settle their differences peacefully, not with violence and hate. We have been told that we should celebrate our differences, for that is what makes us a diverse people. This might be best taught through the example of the adults of our community. A democracy means social equality. In order to have social equality we need to respect the rights of others whether we agree or disagree. We have laws that protect us when others feel their rights have precedence over ours. I applauded the courts in upholding those rights.

To Cpl. Webster, I am sorry we have troops who feel the need to hurt those who peacefully demonstrate. They are in a country that has had its rights suppressed by those who thought that a dictatorship was a better way, who thought that hate and fear was the way to govern people. It is a very touchy place our men and women are serving in. They must show peace, compassion, justice and mercy, and protect themselves from hate, indifference and violence.

Our troops fall under the scrutiny of the entire world. They are our representatives in foreign lands. We need to show the world more fully how a democracy functions by our own actions here at home and abroad, through respect, tolerance and lawful justice for all.

May God continue to bless America and protect us from hate and violence. May He continue to guide our world leaders toward peace, freedom and safety for all.

Robin Carrico


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