The recently concluded Moving Wall Memorial hosted by the Indian Trail VFW Post 2423 proved to be a sterling event bringing together various portions of the community for one noble cause. Thousands of participants arrived to honor the memory of the wounded and fallen soldiers of the Vietnam War-era who sacrificed so greatly so others could enjoy the freedom of democracy. Those warriors, like generations before and after them, came from all segments of society. They were known to us all. They bore simple names such as father, mother, brother, sister and next door neighbor. They might not have construed themselves as heroes, but they unselfishly gave of themselves for a higher cause. It is to these individuals we owe our greatest admiration and respect.
Unfortunately, attempting to divert attention away from the solemnity and dignity of the event was a disgraceful, self-serving political demonstration led by conspiratorial theorists Arthur Spurr and Jonathan Baer. There, these two right-wing extremists stood across the street from the VFW, and greeted the approaching Moving Wall motorcade with an inverted American flag, signifying dishonor and disrespect. Fortunately, such demonstration was short lived and met with quick rebuke from the VFW Post Commander. The two individuals were verbally reprimanded and refused entry onto VFW property.
As a Vietnam veteran myself, I applaud the actions of the VFW post commander. Yes, we live in a great country where freedom of speech abounds. And, yes, Mr. Spurr and Mr. Baer have the constitutional right to demonstrate and issue bizarre, exaggerated and provocative statements for their self-indulgent pleasures. However, there are times when one should set aside their political agenda, suspend their petty hatreds and biases, and quietly give full honor and respect to those who have sacrificed so selflessly for the good of others. It is these past, present and future heroes that we now salute and offer our heartfelt gratitude and respect.