Shnay: November a time for flag-waving
By Jerry Shnay Citizen Journalistfirstname.lastname@example.org November 1, 2012 1:42PM
Updated: December 5, 2012 6:16AM
It’s time for a little flag-waving this week.
On Tuesday we will select our president. Please vote!
We will pay tribute to our servicemen on Friday at the unveiling of the G. I. mural in Freedom Hall, and on Nov. 11 (Veterans Day) we can listen to the story of Ed Fizer, an American who, along with his comrades, fought one of the bravest battles of World War II — the war against prejudice.
We’ve written about Fizer a number of times; of how he and his fellow soldiers formed the first black unit in the Marine Corps during World War II; of how it took a presidential order in 1942 to force the up-until-then all-white service to accept blacks; and of how these Montford Point Marines persevered and triumphed; and finally how the entire unit, once segregated from the rest of the Marines Corps, recently was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, the nation’s highest civilian honor.
Fizer will relate his story at 2:30 p.m. at village hall during a free program sponsored by the Park Forest Historical Society. It is a story worth retelling and remembering. In the interest of honesty, it must be noted that this writer is a member of the society’s board of directors.
Park Forest will hold its eighth annual Veterans Day Program at 7 p.m. Friday in Freedom Hall. This year the event will feature the unveiling of the latest Park Forest mural.
Local artist Glenn Davies will introduce his painting — on an interior wall of Freedom Hall — that honors the service of veterans John Ryan and Fizer, as well as the history of the village.
By now you probably know the story of Park Forest, of how this “G.I. Town” was designed as an answer to one of America’s most desperate post-World War II concerns — that of decent housing for returning veterans. We celebrate our Independence Day holiday with fireworks and music. We should commemorate Veterans Day with dignity and honor.
So we need to wave some red, white and blue banners for both occasions.
And it is to be hoped that on Wednesday morning after our vote has been counted we can again wave the flag, but there are times when one wonders how this country has survived when it seems to be locked into an ever-increasing loud and ugly rough-and-tumble style of electioneering.
This year each party has spent more than $1 billion in efforts to convince us to vote for their candidate. All elections have a strong confrontational element. It comes with the territory. But those billions seem to have generated a loud, unpleasant, quarrelsome campaign that has gone on too long.
Because Illinois is a state conceded to President Obama, our attention has been centered on those congressional races that inflict brain-numbing and repetitive pounding of our senses through television ads and depending on where you live, door knockings, robo calls and heaps of mailings.
I fear that this process, fueled in part by all that money, has produced in some a “dis” kind of citizenry: people who are dispirited, disheartened, discouraged and dismayed. Have we lost our taste for civil discourse and acquired a preference for raucous 15-second sound bites? When everyone talks, no one listens.
Yet despite all the noise and the commotion, there are few duties more important to the welfare of the Republic than that of voting. On Tuesday it will be time to cast a vote for light instead of heat. Make of that what you will.
God bless America.