Peace on Earth, good will toward men?

 

To the Editor:

 

Every faith tradition has special occasions to honor God’s goodness and mankind’s desire for peace on earth. Christmas is one of those special times of the year, and we are reminded of this hopeful and joyous message by our traditions and various celebrations.

The Bryson City Christmas parade to be sure is meant to honor this spirit, but I am shocked that parade organizers would allow the participation of a group that sent a very different message by its presence in the parade. A military truck sporting a banner “Armed Patriots” was wholly inappropriate and contrary to the reason for the season regardless of anyone’s faith tradition.

To call oneself a patriot implies a deep love of country and all that it entails. That means one accepts the basis on which this country was founded – that each of us is important and that government derives its powers from the consent of the governed – not from a group of armed men and women who threaten that ideal by brandishing weapons and potential violence. The motto of this nation is “e pluribus unum” – out of many one. This country is a great melting pot of people and ideas, and we should represent a beacon of hope to the world – the idea that in diversity there is strength and opportunity while we work together as one nation. It is time that we get our priorities straight.

Yes, I believe in personal freedom, but the common good should always be the touchstone of our journey together. When we put individual notions of personal freedom ahead of the common good, we have chosen the downward path to chaos and destruction. Honest dialogue, not guns, should light our way forward to a better future.

Joe Buranosky,

Colonel USMC (Ret.), Whittier