In a span of a few days in our area, the good, bad and ugly

Star Tribune - - EDITORIALS READERS WRITE - LEE WAL­DON, Bu≠alo, Minn.

As a for­mer Army soldier, I was in­vited by the prin­ci­pal of St. Michael-Al­bertville High School to at­tend a special pro­gram on Fri­day to honor veter­ans for their ser­vice. It was a beau­ti­ful pro­gram, and the au­di­to­rium was full. There was special seat­ing for the veter­ans, prob­a­bly 50 to 60 in to­tal.

In ad­di­tion to the stu­dents who spoke, Mayor Chris Cole­man of St. Paul gave an ex­cel­lent thank you to the veter­ans, and it was fol­lowed up by com­ments by Prin­ci­pal Bob Driver. We were called to stand up by name, and at the end, a round of ap­plause was given that lasted for five min­utes. The shop class made special wood plaques that were given to each of us by in­di­vid­ual stu­dents, who thanked us for our ser­vice. The re­spect for us was huge!

The day af­ter, in the Star Tri­bune’s Va­ri­ety sec­tion, I read the story of peo­ple who had served in the mil­i­tary ef­fort (“They served — and con­tinue to serve,” Nov. 11). Each had a unique and, I be­lieve, heroic story, un­til I came to the last one who served in the Marines. The cap­tion be­low her pho­to­graph said that she “en­coun­tered sex­ual ha­rass­ment dur­ing her ser­vice in the Marines” and “con­tin­ues to fight for bet­ter treat­ment for ser­vice­women,” and the story stated that her mil­i­tary time is in the past. I found that in­ter­est­ing, if not dis­ap­point­ing, and thought that she must have had some­thing else to tell about her ca­reer in the Marines to de­fine what she was proud of and not what the re­porter chose to bring out in the story, which had noth­ing to do with hon­or­ing these veter­ans.

Then, on Tues­day, I read of the sit­u­a­tion at the high school in Ed­ina dur­ing which some stu­dents de­cided to sit rather than stand dur­ing the na­tional an­them and dur­ing “Taps.” (“Veter­ans Day protest roils Ed­ina High.”) What a dif­fer­ence this was from the many cel­e­bra­tions and hon­ors given veter­ans in many towns across the state and across the coun­try, in­clud­ing St. Michael-Al­bertville.

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