2000-12-09 / Columnists


Appreciating Our Valuable Gift

We recently enjoyed the John G. McLaughlin Post #8540, Veterans of Foreign War, annual dinner dance. The hall was filled with people who have stood and are standing to affirm the importance of our democracy (or to be politically correct - our representative government).  

Men and women who have served in the armed forces in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, and on peacekeeping missions were in attendance.  Our liberty and freedom are available to us today because of the noble sacrifices that these individuals have made in order to keep our country free.  If you look at the current election crisis you can clearly assess the worth of our democracy that these individuals in the armed forces have preserved and defended.

Thanks to the officers of Post #8540: Thomas Mitchell, commander; William Kamper, senior vice commander; John Costello, junior vice commander; Dominick Auditore, adjutant; Don Joyce, quartermaster; Thomas Crawford, service officer; Robert Klein, officer of the day; and Joe Lynch, chaplain.

My appreciation and thanks go to the officers in the Ladies Auxiliary: Kay Kinane, president; Catherine Hibbits, vice president; Jean Brienza, junior vice president; Mary Kamper, treasurer; Edna Lynch, secretary; and Josephine McMonagle, chaplain.

I firmly believe that each and every person serving in the military should
have their vote counted. Partisan considerations should be put aside on this issue. If people are willing to serve our country and risk their personal well-being, they are certainly entitled to vote.

One issue, which should be a focus of the media, but is not, is that this election proves that every single vote counts.  It is obvious that the presidency of the United States of America - the most influential position in the world - will revolve around a few votes.  Everyone should be registered
and definitely should be sure to vote.  

As we continue to look at the political gyrations, we can thank the men and women of our Armed Forces for preserving a form of government whose basic freedoms and economic system remain in tact regardless of the election results.  I certainly marvel at the fact that our Founding Fathers have given us a system of government that is a supple survivor.

In addition, as we watched the manual recounts, we had an opportunity to view uplifting examples of everyday people like us caught up in a pivotal historical time: persistent vote-count volunteers and conscientious representatives trying to do the right thing.

These last few weeks have given us a concentrated look at where our country is headed.  Like Scrooge we have been able to see the ghosts of elections past and those to come.  We are now given a golden opportunity to
overhaul our election process and have one uniform standard across the
country. We must move cautiously and deliberately to bring the types of
quality improvements to our voting process that we have brought to all facets of contemporary America.

It is my hope that the most remembered effect of Election 2000 will be the American consciousness that citizenship is a participatory sport.

God Bless America!

The Regular Democratic Club of the Rockaways will hold its annual holiday party on Thursday, December 14, 2000, at 104-02 Rockaway Beach boulevard, at 8:00 p.m. Refreshments will be served.  All are welcome. Bring your friends and join us for this fun-filled holiday party.

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