Backing the American Legion in Bothell 4th of July parade | Letter
July 14, 2011 · 12:16 PM
I am a Canadian citizen, having emigrated from Holland in 1966. Through friends who are members of the Bothell American Legion, I have had the privilege the last few years of participating in the Fourth of July parade with the Legion. My wife and I enjoy how the Americans celebrate their freedom. This freedom came at a price paid by the veterans of the United States. I realize, having emigrated from Holland, that I would have been speaking German had it not been for the Allied forces in World War II.
The Legion has participated for many years in the Bothell parade. The younger veterans march, carrying flags and rifles. The older veterans and their families follow in floats and vehicles. Each year the Legion attempts to be placed together, trying to follow their color guard in the parade.
As the Legion tried to gain position to get behind their color guard, a Lakeshore Clinic representative told them “they,” as one of the parade sponsors, had paid money for the honor of leading the parade and that the Legion had no business moving up. That was insulting to the veterans who were participating. In fact, she said that to a Vietnam veteran who spent a year of his life in Vietnam, not knowing if he would be dead by the end of that year.
Apparently, not everyone realizes their freedom came at the expense of the veterans. The Lakeshore Clinic should have graciously acknowledged the veterans’ service to their country and allowed them access to their marching unit.
Constant Coopman, Burnaby, BC