Sheehan celebrates liberties like we should

The Northern Star ran a article titled “Visitors appreciate what we should.” Paul LaLonde said after he watched an anti-war protest, he was angry and stated people who speak out against the war are people who misuse or abuse freedom and do not appreciate freedom too.

How can LaLonde say the woman, Cindy Sheehan, who he saw on Fox News – a reliable source for news – was misusing her freedom? Is it because she was speaking her mind and telling us all she hated the war, and war has no end in sight?

Is it wrong for her, and those who have joined her, to grieve for lost loved ones in a fight that has been based on a lot of misinformation and purposeful deception? And why should he condemn her for feeling the attention she feels her cause deserves was overshadowed by the suffering of the hurricane victims?

Would it be at all possible the U.S. government might have tried to intentionally put more emphasis on our Southeastern states to draw attention away from the protests, in hopes the lack of coverage may help disperse the picketers?

I hope LaLonde knows the Constitution states Sheehan has every right to speak out against anything she feels our government is doing wrong, as does LaLonde. If it were otherwise, this article would not exist.

Did LaLonde forget the people in office are the people the public voted in? In other words, they work for us because the common person on the street pays the people in Washington D.C with tax money.

Did he also ignore the fact our government, back in the 1980s, supported Sadaam Hussein with money, weapons and training to fight our then-enemy, Iran? Also, in the first Gulf War, we annihilated his army and destroyed almost all of the weapons there. We were ordered to stop outside the city of Baghdad because of the very reason our troops are on that soil now. Would his feelings be the same if he were serving on the front line, possibly standing by another who may soon share the fate of Sheehan’s son?

My own experiences of seeing the gung-ho younglings – who were screaming for the chance to be a part of the fight, having that bravado ripped from their hearts in gasps of disbelief when they got the chance – have made my own views of just how necessary this battle across the sea is somewhat less than enthusiastic.

Yes, we all should appreciate the freedoms the blood and tears of our ancestors, and sometimes our children, have bought the citizens of this country.

This country was made to be great by allowing differences of opinions to be explored instead of oppressed.

However, I would advise young LaLonde to be careful of what he categorizes as abuse of that freedom, when he blatantly uses it as a weapon to attack a person who has the passion and dedication to stand by, no matter what is said or done to discourage that freedom.

Our soldiers are brave and steady in their work, but are only the ones in a uniform to be afforded respect for that heroism? Have not many of our most notable names in history faced the same circumstances and criticism that Sheehan is experiencing now?

Let young LaLonde have his opinion, but let it be based in experience and purpose as well as passion. Your readers deserve that respect at least.

Aaron Downing

Junior, undecided major