Sign of the times | Letters

What my wife and I read the last few times we got the paper that made us angry is what it seems we’ve become as a world, a nation and as an island. One week we read about a parade we’re having on July 7, where there’s no sign up and everyone’s invited to march, but no signs will be allowed or welcomed. The paper’s already been recycled as mulch for the garden, so not an exact quote. And this week we saw a cartoon saying, “Welcome to OPRAH Island,” with Orcas crossed out above “OPRAH.” And for the topper, we were reminded about “November’s Veteran Day.”

Over three decades we’ve enjoyed the island’s parades whenever we go. “Parade” today sadly reminds me of Trump’s desire for a military show of strength in our capital’s city on “Armistice Day.” And in my opinion, it’s wrong for this nation, which is finally talking about peace and wrong for a nation where more veterans commit suicide a day than in actual combat. “Veterans Day” was created in, I believe, 1953 to celebrate war and those choosing to fight in them, while “Armistice Day” was created first to celebrate the end of war with a promise of peace as the message. And also in my opinion telling those of us that are passionate about no more wars and want to celebrate peace with a sign of protest that we can’t is a violation of my rights. And the cartoon isn’t what the island’s about or why some of us moved here or want it to become. We use to celebrate the diversity amongst us islanders, and today it seems we need more a reminder of that kind of respect not less of a one. As for no signs being allowed, on July 7 I’ll celebrate my right as a citizen and celebrate the end of war by carrying a sign for “No More Corporate War” in front of Waterfront Park or somewhere else during the day and step away from my normal silence.

John Cook