To The Editor:

It was a joy being on the waterfront Memorial Day with my Franklin County friends recognizing America’s heroes who gave the ultimate service to protect America as well as world freedom.

A major cross section of our great community was present:  Mayor Lucy; the honor guards from Troop C of Missouri’s finest; VFW; American Legion; our community fire and police first responders. They were joined by our paramedics, Boy Scouts, and even a little toddler running around waving an American flag who never was still long enough for me to take his picture.  

It bears repeating that while John Wayne never got shot at with real bullets he made a great contribution to the war effort and was all about patriotism and American unity. President Reagan made us aware that the Duke would have been angered to hear (as some did) to call him the “Last American Hero.” He knew who the heroes were when he said, “Just give American people a good cause and there is nothing they can’t lick.” He also reminded us in 1977, “Face the flag, son, and face reality. … Face the flag, son, and thank God it’s still there!”

While we’re talking about freedoms we’ve fought to keep, I want to recognize that the event was opened and closed with prayer plus the statement, “God bless America!” I say “Amen” to that — I agree.

I understand the ACLU has taken some faction of Franklin County to task for opening a public meeting with prayer. I say, shame on you, ACLU! Put on your dunce cap and go sit in the corner.

Don’t you know it’s always been taught in our classrooms that the Constitution guarantees us our rights to do that?  Who will you attack next, our Muslim, Jewish, or even atheistic community members? (I doubt it. You seem to be polarized on whom you choose to pick.)

I say, go to the blackboard and write a thousand times, “I will quit trying to change America.” You and our president are missing the mark; words in ink and broadcast don’t make the lie true that “American is no longer a Christian nation.”

ACLU people take a lesson from this: It’s just a movie, Scent of a Woman, (and I like the TV version better because most of the “F” language is erased), but Al Pacino at the end of his rant said it well when the overbearing college dean tried to squelch the applause for the boy who insisted on doing the right thing regardless of what it cost him. In the din of thunderous applause, the would-be-dictator-dean banged his gavel in vain to stop the applause as Pacino quietly said, “You’ll never shut them up.  You can’t shut them up.”

ACLU, this is America, and we accept the cause to keep America sound in its founding roots — we’re going to lick you because we don’t want any more of your kind of change. You’ll never shut us up.