To the Editor:
I attended the Crystal Lake Memorial Day Parade and cemetery ceremony.
After the ceremony, I was stopped by a woman asking for petition signatures to get Jim Harrison’s name on the sheriff’s ballot. I declined, but she insisted a person could vote for anyone but signing would help get Harrison’s name on the ballot.
Someone asked whether she could move farther away since her position only yards from the cemetery was offensive and disrespectful. She declined, saying she had permission to be there. A check with the city manager’s office uncovered the fact that she did not have permission to be there.
Permission or not, Memorial Day was a highly inappropriate time for campaigning, and her location yards from sacred ground was shameful. A Memorial Day ceremony is only a few steps removed from a funeral for people who had lost loved ones and friends to war.
To paraphrase the ceremony’s speaker, we are free. We have the right to practice our religion or not, to criticize government, to burn a flag, to protest at military funerals and hold up outlandish signs. “We have these freedoms, right or wrong, because of the sacrifices made by the men and women we honor today.”
Campaigning outside a ceremony honoring the sacrifices of the very people who fought for her right to campaign was disrespectful and lacking in human decency.