My friend, Dave Skocik, a PR guy, probably spends as much of his time honoring our military as he does on his job. He’s a big asset to society, and he had this piece published in The Delaware State News of 7/3/20.

I don’t entirely agree with him on this one. He is quite right when he says “The symbol of our nation should not be part of any political statement.”  No doubt about that, just as politics should have no part in criminal justice and the Courts.  But, alas, both the flag and the justice system have been hijacked for political purposes, and I say that those who kneel before the flag recognize a dramatic way to call attention to serious social (and in many cases, legal) injustice.

Concerning this language: “The flag has always been the symbol of our freedom from foreign rule. Tyrants across the globe know that to attack an American vessel, aircraft or citizen is to risk the loss of their own power.” I say that today’s “kneelers” are protesting domestic tyranny, and that dissent is every bit as patriotic as the gallant service of our men and women in uniform. Dave invokes the late great Sen. John McCain, who was just starting to see and speak out about domestic tyranny when he died.

I think Sen. McCain would see the patriotism in kneeling.

In his fervor, Dave writes: “I urge veterans and their organizations to express their concerns to the leaders of schools and organizations that disrespect the flag and withdraw their individual and collective support if nothing changes.”  However, I know of no school or organization, save some extreme right wing groups, which disrespect our flag. Schools and organizations allow their members to exercise their right to free speech. As I said, many disrespect domestic tyranny.

The Article:

On July Fourth, Americans celebrate the birth of the fight for our independence. The 56 influential men who signed the strident Declaration of Independence, affirming the right to be free from foreign rule, were guilty of treason to the king of England. They risked confiscation of all they owned, including their lives.

The symbol of that defiance has always been the flag, hoisted on ships’ masts, on ramparts and in public places – and defended to the death. It was the survival of the giant banner over Baltimore’s Fort McHenry during the British naval bombardment in 1814 that prompted lawyer Francis Scott Key to write that “the flag was still there” the following morning. It convinced the British, who had burned Washington, D.C., that they could not capture Baltimore.

The flag has always been the symbol of our freedom from foreign rule. Tyrants across the globe know that to attack an American vessel, aircraft or citizen is to risk the loss of their own power.

It was the subject of World War II’s most iconic photo at Iwo Jima as four Marines and a Navy corpsman raised it on Mount Suribachi under enemy fire. Today, it covers the remains of those who made the ultimate sacrifice as they arrive at Dover Air Force Base.

Now, kneeling during the national anthem is returning. It’s disheartening to see a growing number of people, particularly the young, who see no problem taking a knee, not in reverence, but in submission to the concerns of others.

The symbol of our nation should not be part of any political statement. It’s a “look at me” intrusion that only solidifies resentment against those who force their opinion on others.

Throughout history, kneeling has always been a sign of submission before kings and tyrants. It preceded the execution of American prisoners of war in some World War II Japanese prison camps and, more recently, people executed by ISIS.

Those who kneel before the flag to feel good about themselves are offending not only the majority of their fellow Americans, but especially veterans and their families. It’s shameful so many are woefully ignorant of our history that they fail to understand that.

The late Sen. John McCain told of fellow Vietnam War POW Mike Christian, captured in 1967. Using scraps of material and a bamboo needle, he secretly crafted an American flag and sewed it inside his shirt. Every afternoon, when they were allowed to gather for a bowl of soup, McCain and others hung the shirt on the wall and recited the Pledge of Allegiance. “In that stark cell, it was indeed the most important and meaningful event,” said McCain.

When the flag was discovered, the guards beat Christian for several hours. “He was not making the flag because it made him feel better. He was making that flag because he knew how important it was to us to be able to pledge our allegiance to our flag and country,” said McCain. Days later, Christian began crafting another flag.

The respect we rightfully provide others should also be extended to the smallest minority of all. They are military veterans of all colors, backgrounds and creeds, who have served, fought and died for the freedoms we enjoy. For them, more than any other group, the flag is the symbol of our nation – all of us. That banner, paired with our national anthem, can bring tears to a battle-hardened veteran.

Veterans’ organizations provide a lot of community outreach, including volunteerism, scholarships, contributions and coaching. As we enter the new sports season, I urge veterans and their organizations to express their concerns to the leaders of schools and organizations that disrespect the flag and withdraw their individual and collective support if nothing changes.

We too can picket events. It led to the establishment of our veterans’ home in 2007.

Dave Skocik is president of the Delaware Veterans Coalition. He lives in Dover.

The Whole Story
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Letter to the Editor – Remember, Dissent is Patriotic- 7/3/20

My friend, Dave Skocik, a PR guy, probably spends as much of his time honoring our military as he does on his job. He’s a big asset to society, and he had this piece published in The Delaware State News of 7/3/20, concerning our National Anthem.

I don’t entirely agree with him on this one. He is quite right when he says “The symbol of our nation should not be part of any political statement.”  No doubt about that, just as politics should have no part in criminal justice and the Courts.  But, alas, both the flag and the justice system have been hijacked for political purposes, and I say that those who kneel before the flag recognize a dramatic way to call attention to serious social (and in many cases, legal) injustice.

Concerning this language: “The flag has always been the symbol of our freedom from foreign rule. Tyrants across the globe know that to attack an American vessel, aircraft or citizen is to risk the loss of their own power.” I say that today’s “kneelers” are protesting domestic tyranny (specifically racism, in the form of police abuse of Blacks), and that dissent is every bit as patriotic as the gallant service of our men and women in uniform. Dave invokes the late great Sen. John McCain, who was just starting to see and speak out about domestic tyranny when he died.

I think Sen. McCain would see the patriotism in kneeling.

In his fervor, Dave writes: “I urge veterans and their organizations to express their concerns to the leaders of schools and organizations that disrespect the flag and withdraw their individual and collective support if nothing changes.”  However, I know of no school or organization, save some extreme right wing groups, which disrespect our flag. Schools and organizations allow their members to exercise their right to free speech. As I said, many disrespect domestic tyranny.

Ken Abraham, former prosecutor and founder of Citizens for Criminal JUSTICE, Dover, DE 302-423-4067

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I get lots of letters published, and ghost write for others. THIS IS THE BEST WAY TO REACH THOUSANDS OF READERS! The keys to getting your Letter published are:
1. Keep it to 250 words or fewer.
2. Do not make it about “poor little old me”. Describe the problem as one which not only affects the individual, but is a senseless or ineffective measure, policy, or law which also harms communities and society. For example, with reentry, the obstacles make it unnecessarily difficult for the individual, but also harm society by making it hard to become productive, spending money and paying taxes in the community, and they cause increased recidivism = increased crime.
3. Speak from your heart.
4. Google any facts you are not sure about.
5. Do not name-call.
Do what works: Write that Letter!
…………
Letter to Editor – sign name, town, state, and your phone number (they often call to verify that you sent it), and “Member of Citizens for Criminal JUSTICE” if you like – shows you are part of a large group.

Send the email to yourself, and put on the “bcc” bar the email addresses for Letters to the Editor for the top ten newspapers in your state and several national ones – The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, U S A Today (google the Letter to Editor email addresses). Any questions, CALL me at 302-423-4067!

GOOGLE THE EMAIL ADDRESSES FOR “LETTERS TO THE EDITOR” FOR THE TOP TEN NEWSPAPERS IN YOUR STATE AND SAVE THAT INFORMATION FOR REPEATED USE – Some papers will print a letter from you every 2 weeks, some every 30 days, some every 90 days. They have varying policies. But if you really want to make a difference shoot them a new letter once a month! I send one out every 2 weeks.

Need a Letter on some criminal justice issue and not a great letter writer? NO EXCUSE! Email me a rough draft and call me and I’ll polish it up! kenabraham3138@gmail.com .


ANY QUESTIONS, CALL ME AT 302-423-4067.