DanvilleSanRamon.com

Perspective - March 23, 2007

Don't divide Danville

On the fourth anniversary of the Iraq War, our country is divided. Let's not let these differences of opinion divide Danville.

Someone suggested in a Letter to the Editor last week that the Kiwanis Club of the San Ramon Valley should keep political groups from marching in its popular Fourth of July Parade. The writer was especially offended by anti-war signs held by Democrats and the ACLU.

We feel the parade should be open to everyone, including political groups. Some feel passionately that the war in Iraq is keeping terrorists off our streets and preserving our freedoms. Others feel just as strongly that our resources instead should be used to pursue Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, or to work on the problems in the Mideast that caused them to launch the Sept. 11 attacks in the first place.

This year's parade theme is "A Salute to Our Veterans, Thank You for Your Service to Our Country." That's a wonderful theme for a day when we ponder and orate on our freedoms that were hard-won by our forefathers and throughout the last 200 years. Thanking our troops is something that both sides want to do. One side feels we need to support our troops by supporting the war. The other side feels we could best support our troops by removing them from Iraq. We realized after the Vietnam War that we should not confuse the soldiers with the mission, that everyone who serves our country deserves a salute.

Kiwanis is already accepting signups for its popular parade, which has grown from a small-town gathering of Scout troops and sports teams to representatives from many organizations represented by floats, marching units and even some bands. Our freedoms mean the right to hold and express different opinions and to march down Hartz Avenue together to celebrate Independence Day.

It's the American way of life. Let's not allow Danville to be divided.

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