Union Democrat staff

American Flags

To the Editor:

Before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, it was uncommon to see the American Flag flying from most homes. Since then, the Stars and Stripes have become ubiquitous and are proudly displayed on our homes, clothing, vehicles and tattooed to our bodies. I am proud and pleased to see so many depictions of American pride everywhere I look. Being a proud and patriotic American takes more effort than just hanging a flag on the front porch or putting a sticker on the car. These acts require us to be custodians of these symbols and to maintain them in proper order.

Allowing a flag to hang in place until it becomes nothing more than a faded and tattered rag displays profound laziness and contempt for our rallying standard. Neglecting this most precious symbol of freedom and pride gives the terrorists a simple message, "you got our attention 10 years ago, but we're not interested in doing even this simple work to maintain our display of national defiance and individual determination."

If you choose to be a patriotic American and wish to show your spirit by flying our flag, be a patriot everyday. If you haven't got the time or inclination to maintain your flag in good condition, please do us all the courtesy of simply taking it down.

Over the centuries, many thousands of American men and women have paid the ultimate price in the service of this nation that is represented by that flag. Please do not desecrate their memories, and simultaneously give our enemies an edge, by allowing your American Flag to hang forgotten and destroyed from its pole in your front yard.

Eric Marvel

Twain Harte

Columbia Elementary

To the Editor:

Many of the citizens of our county are outraged by the recent events at Columbia Elementary School, namely the Pendley fiasco. Certain board members have told me that they have not read the letters sent to the court by their employees, although they do claim to be well informed on the matter. How?

A counselor as well as two teachers sent letters to the judge in the case requesting leniency for Brennan Pendley as well as "demonizing" the minor child in this case. Hello people, a minor child cannot consent to sexual contact in California, period. End of discussion.

Brennan Pendley is gone but his father, John Pendley, is still employed as are the letter writers. This is wrong. If you have interest in pursuing their dismissal and making the school a better and safer place for our children please let me know via e-mail at savecusd11@yahoo.com. Let's all stand up and be counted.

Paul Girard