Freedom to speak

Re "For whom does Old Glory wave?," May 2

Reading about the controversy in Montrose saddened me because the two groups -- the war protesters and those who support the veterans' memorial -- appear to be talking past each other. This, unfortunately, is a microcosm of what is transpiring in our country with regard to the Iraq war.

What mostly saddened me, however, was to read about a high school junior with plans to enlist who spit at the protesters, saying that only veterans have a right to "say anything."

Someone should explain to this young man -- soon -- that he will be enlisting to fight to protect and defend a constitutional democracy, where everyone has a right to "say anything."

If he does not understand this, he should not enlist because he will be fighting not for our country but for a nightmare of a country that he wants to create.

Ariel Sotolongo

Los Angeles

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