Honor the flag

Here I go, fired up again. We recently held our annual Bay Festival here in Bucksport.

One event really got me thinking, and then upset. There was a nice parade with a very strong patriotic theme. As the first flag went by I noticed an elderly man with an Air Force veteran’s hat on coming to attention and offering a salute as the flag passed. I followed suit and removed my hat. This process played out several times as there were several flags on display.

I mentioned to the person next to me, “We are supposed to honor the flag by removing our hat and being kind of at attention.” He said, “I will do it once but there are too many flags to bother with.” There were no others honoring the flag in any way. I doubt they were even aware that they should.

We were taught in school and at home that this was proper etiquette, to honor the flag in this way. What has happened that virtually no one other than one old veteran was aware?

I thank the good Lord on an almost daily basis that I was raised when I was and we were taught to honor our flag and what it stood for. The pledge of allegiance is school was an important part of the beginning or each day with 100 percent participation and not a haphazard voluntary ritual as it appears to be today.

God Bless America, our veterans and our current service members. The rest of us need to wake up and honor the flag.

Bob Mercer
Bucksport

Time to unite against climate change

Within our lifetime, I believe we will all be struggling to survive in a world that has changed before our eyes: Our crops flooded or destroyed by searing heat, the air we breathe coming through a filter mask, our roads melting, our coastal cities covered by ocean waves. How do we react to this challenge? We are in mass denial of proven scientific facts. We choose a leader who is ignorant and a Congress that fights among itself. Billions of our hard-earned tax money is used for other things when it could be used to lower the carbon dioxide (CO2) in our atmosphere. We choose to listen to voices in the media that pit us against each other instead of working together. It is time to unite and start the very hard work to reduce CO2 levels.

Donna Allen
Hampden

Life saving drug measures

In 2018 nearly one Mainer died every day due to drug overdoses. The so called “war on drugs” has failed. It has ruined lives, filled prisons, and cost our nation an exorbitant amount of money.

We need to start looking at the issue of drug policy as a matter of public health rather than one of crime and punishment. When the legislative session starts back up, there is a great opportunity to pass policies that put compassion first.

This is why I support the “ Lead with Love” campaign — a project put forward by a coalition of partners focusing on compassionate care rather than punishment. This project supports legislation that will create overdose prevention sites, where people can use drugs safely, under supervision of trained staff. These have been found to reduce overdose deaths, as well as HIV and hepatitis virus transmission, in legally operated centers in Canada, Europe and Australia.

Another important piece of legislation centers around decriminalization for possessing small amounts of drugs, a common sense mechanism for reducing drug related incarceration.

As our state representatives get ready to return to the statehouse, I urge all to pass these life saving measures.

Elek Pew
Portland