July 4, 2008

Patriotism in Bristol

Reporter Jackie Majerus wrote this today:

The Fourth of July is a day to spend with family, but also a time to consider the freedoms that make the country great, according to a sampling of residents and leaders who shared their weekend plans along with some thoughts on patriotism.
"America is the foundation of freedom for the entire world and I am proud to be an American," said Bristol Fire Chief Jon Pose. "We are all so fortunate to be a part of the greatest country on earth."
Pose, who planned to spend a quiet Fourth of July at home enjoying that freedom, said for him, the day is one of rest and remembrance of America's birthday.
Jackie Sanchez, owner of Artistry Haircutters in Bristol, said she was looking forward to the holiday.
"One nice thing is I get a day off," said Sanchez, who said she'll spend it at an annual family birthday gathering.
Sanchez said she tries to teach patriotism to her children. American freedoms, especially of religion and speech, are important to her, she said.
At home, Sanchez said, her family flies the American flag on the Fourth of July.
"It's a reminder," Sanchez said.
City Historian Bob Montgomery said he had only one special thing planned for the holiday weekend – walking along Memorial Boulevard and visiting all the monuments.
The memorial park, said Montgomery, is "a tribute to Bristol's patriotism through the years" and makes him proud of not just the city but also of the nation.
"We are very fortunate to live in the best country in the world," Montgomery said. "We are not perfect by any means, but where is it better? I believe our military and political leaders want to do their best for us even though we sometimes disagree with their decisions. Our elected officials are just that and not rulers or dictators. How fortunate we are for that."
Montgomery said he tries to show his patriotism by attending military celebrations and events throughout the year.
"We have the best veterans as well as a number of citizens who are currently serving our country with pride," Montgomery said.
Patriotism is "love of country as it is established in the Constitution and laws of the land," said Gardener Wright, a member of the Bristol Downtown Development Corp. board. "We have freedoms that no other country enjoys. I hope it stays that way."
Patti Ewen, retired after years of public service on city boards and a long stint as city treasurer, said she would be spending the holiday with her family.
For her, the meaning of Independence Day, Ewen said, is that America's democracy is precious and should not be despoiled.
"Its importance was taught by my Native American mother who didn't get full voting rights until mid-twentieth century," Ewen said, "and my German-born father."
Her father, Ewen said, became a naturalized citizen and believed it a privilege to serve in World War II.
"They taught me to respect and serve our nation," said Ewen. "They also impressed us children concerning the fragility of freedom."City Councilor Craig Minor said patriotism means "loving your countryenough to be willing to sacrifice for it, like the Founding Fathers did 200 years ago and our servicemen and women do every day."
But Minor said love of country also means getting involved and serving on local boards and commissions "for no pay and lots of aggravation."
Patriotism, Minor said, includes pride in our history as the first country to have a Constitution that limited the powers of the government and of how Americans went oversees to fight in two major wars to keep the rest of the world free.
"I'm proud of belonging to a nation of immigrants and many different ethnic groups that all get along, unlike in so many other countries," said Minor, who said that he saw the results of "ethnic cleansing" when he served in the Balkans a decade ago. He said he now has friends and family in Iraq and Afghanistan fighting the same issue.
Minor said he and his wife Laura will be on a whirlwind Independence Day weekend, visiting lots of friends and family in Connecticut, Washington, D.C., Baltimore and New Jersey. Along the way, he said, they'll attend a high school reunion and catch some fireworks along the way.
State Sen. Tom Colapietro said he'll be at home in Bristol catching up on his "honey do" list. He doesn't get to see his wife very often, Colapietro said, so he's looking forward to spending some time with her.
City Building Official Guy Morin said he generally spends the Fourth with his family. He said later in the month, he'll participate in his town's Fireman's Parade as a Fourth Degree Knight in the Unionville Knights of Columbus.
"Patriotism means supporting people who are in the armed services and the veterans," said Morin.
Businessman Craig Yarde, who is actively working on the campaign for a city manager in Bristol, said he was spending Independence Day in Warren, Vermont, watching that town's annual parade.
"It's a wild, wacky and wickedly fun parade," said Yarde.
Bristol Mayor Art Ward said he would spend the weekend close to home with family and friends, picnicking and watching fireworks.
"To me, patriotism is honoring the premise of our forefathers in the founding of this great nation," Ward said, "maintenance of an absolute respect for the right of individuality and the preservation of the rights and well-being of the people of this great nation."
Christopher Wright, a Democrat hoping to win a state House seat this fall, said patriotism means recognizing that Americans inherited the best country from their parents and should doing what they can to make it better for their children.
Beyond supporting the troops, Wright said, patriotism includes supporting teachers and police at home, using conservation and recycling to clean the environment and getting involved in community organizations and government committees.
"Patriotism also means recognizing that not everyone agrees with you and acknowledging their right to their beliefs without malice," said Wright.
John Leone, president of the Greater Bristol Chamber of Commerce, said he'd be at a family picnic Friday and on Sunday, planned to catch some fireworks over Cedar Lake.
Supporting the country, American troops stationed in the Middle East and their families back home – whether or not one agrees with the war – is patriotism, said Leone.
America has many patriots, Pose said, including everyone who is serving or has served in the military as well as "homeland protectors" like firefighters, police officers and emergency responders.
Pose said he tries to live his patriotism through his role as fire chief, supporting the troops and having pride in the country.
Giving back to your own community to make it the best it can be is what patriotism means to him, Yarde said, adding that is why he's pushing so hard on the city manager issue.

Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com


Anonymous said...

Craig, is it City Manager or COO you are supporting?

Anonymous said...

God Bless the United States of America - the beacon of liberty and hope for so many generations.

God Bless our fighting men and women in uniform who so selflessly give of themselves so we can continue to enjoy the spoils of that first revolution.

God Bless those who came before me - who left their homes in far away places to come to this country with little in their pockets, but hearts full of hope .

God Bless the promise of America - may it last forever!

Anonymous said...

What is everyone so proud of, anyway?

This country is more corrupt than it has every been. Just take a look at the latest example known as the sub-prime mortgage fiasco. Know anyone forced into foreclosure lately?

This country has lost its moral standing in the world. Just take a look at the Gitmo scandal. I'm so proud of that!

This country has an economy that is in the toilet. Just take a look at the latest unemployment numbers, stock market, deficit, dollar vs. Euro, etc. Had a raise lately? How's your savings account looking? We've all been screwed!

The list can go on and on, but why ruin everyone's fun and festivities on this rainy Saturday following Independence Day. Seems to me that Mother Nature is weeping for the U.S. today. And rightfully so.

There's a saying in the book of Proverbs that needs to be recognized: "Pride cometh before the fall." In other words, people who are overconfident or too arrogant are likely to fail. And ever since cowboy "W" and his posse of thieves (arguably the most arrogant and overconfident Mofo's on the planet) stole the white house, and began to plunder the national treasury, this country has been failing in every conceivable way.

Stop fooling yourselves and wake up to reality boys and girls of Bristol! This entire country is in for a very rude awakening. Chaos and anarchy are at our doorstep, and will likely be followed by a declaration of Marshall Law.

But rather than face the truth, you'll probably stuff your pie holes full of hot dogs and hamburgers, light some firecrackers (which are typically made in China), then drink lots of alcohol to numb your senses like good patriotic Americans. What a joke.

God Bless America? I don't think so...

john reek said...

wow after reading 927am anonymous post i started looking for my passport....not really
where else can you anonymously complain about your government and have others defend your right to do it?
we have been told many many times we must think long term, some still think if we hold out long enough tomorrow may be delayed.
but it wont be. sure pointing fingers is fun but eventually the work starts.
I love my country warts and all.

Anonymous said...

Wright is wrong. Chris nice job trying to suck up to the public employees.

Anonymous said...

"God Bless America? I don't think so..."

YOU don't think so?????? Well, you can obviously read and write. Have you got a job? Have a roof over you're pathetic head and 3 square meals a day? Clothes on your back? Can you see a doctor when you're sick? The U.S. is the freest nation on earth...If you don't like it here, pack your bags and get the hell out. Love it or leave it! GOD BLESS THE USA!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Whoa 9:27 - A bit harsh dude. However, I won't resort to the knee-jerk, love it or leave sentiments of our friend from 12:29. A true patriot recognizes the flaws and problems in our country and works to make it better. However, I continue to be amazed by these flag-wavers who say that freedom of speech is one of our greatest liberties one minute and then want to run everyone out of town when they express an idea they don't agree with.

Anonymous said...

9:27 got a rise out of all of you. It's called taunting the monkeys in the cage.

His mission was accomplished.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

God Bless America.

Please, someone, help me to understand what this expression is all about. I hear it and see it a lot, but can't figure it out, so to me it is meaningless.

Tell me, is it a command? Do the people who use it actually have the audacity to think they can command "God" what to do? That can't be, can it? Maybe it is supposed to be a wish or a prayer? That would make more sense, but I question its effectiveness. And why, with all the nations and people on this Earth, would "God" single out the U.S.A. to bless? Have we done something unusually special to be granted this treatment? If so, what is it?

Perhaps "God" is willing to bless the U.S.A. for invading the homeland of the Native American Indians, slaughtering them without mercy (some would use the word genocide), stealing the best of their "God-given" land, forcing them to become Christians, and then herding the surviving prisoners into encampments called "reservations."

Perhaps "God" is willing to bless the U.S.A. for capturing and enslaving people from Africa to build the personal empires of white men on their backs and do all the "dirty" work? Could this be a reason to be blessed?

Oh, I know, "God" must want to bless the U.S.A. for persecuting thousands of so-called witches in an effort to subjugate women. You may recall this proud period of history, it has often been referred to as the "burning time," and might just be the most sadistic, horrific, violent and dehumanizing recorded acts against women, ever.

I simply do not understand this expression, "God bless America." Seems to me, "God" has every reason to punish the U.S.A., rather than bless it. The United States of America has been very, very, very naughty.

F.Y.I. 12:29 PM: "Love it or leave it!" -- Your statement ASSumes I'm a U.S. citizen writing from within the borders of the U.S. Have you ever considered I may be writing from Canada, Mexico, Russia or Cambodia? Simpleton.

Anonymous said...

? - 11:05AM -you are 100% correct, this country even allows for jerks like you to degrade this great country; keeping in mind that I didn't read any positive solutions from you, just wimpish graffling, most other countries would have thought about doing away with your dumb a--. Food for thought that I'm sure has been entertained on your behalf.

Anonymous said...


Whatever you are...GO TO HELL!

Anonymous said...

Dad told Chrissie to implant his nose firmly in the back-side of the municipal union employees.

Good job Chrissie. Don't pull a "Roger" and get the cops pissed off at you. I'm sure you'll be a good Dumb-o-crap and you'll do your duty pandering to the unions.

Congratulations. Maybe you'll even get a nice state job as a result of your efforts (if one can call pandering an "effort").

Anonymous said...

July 6, 2008 11:05 AM:

We could have left them all in Africa to endure what is happening there today instead of enjoying the largesse of hard-working Europeans, right?

Perhaps the "native-Americans" today appreciate penicillin, running water and central heat? Oh probably not.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Collins,

As moderator, aren't you in some small way obligated to control comments like July 6, 2008 12:06 PM from getting through? His post amounts to nothing less than "school yard bullying," IMHO. What standards are you using?

I speak the truth; the poster doesn't like it or can't comprehend it, therefore, assails me with insults and what might be interpreted as threatening language. And that's acceptable to post?

And can you explain to me what was meant by "wimpish graffling"? As I understand the term, graffling refers to the process of graphing data from large databases in order to give visual reference points to complex amounts of information. This poster's use of the word hardly seems intelligible and exposes the poster's limited intellectual resources.

I implore you, please keep posters like July 6, 2008 12:06 PM from confusing and maligning your readers/commenters. Nothing positive is gained by allowing thoughtless drivel to make its way into the ongoing discussion.

Anonymous said...

"F.Y.I. 12:29 PM: "Love it or leave it!" -- Your statement ASSumes I'm a U.S. citizen writing from within the borders of the U.S. Have you ever considered I may be writing from Canada, Mexico, Russia or Cambodia? Simpleton."

FYI 11:05 AM -- I ASSume that you (unfortunately for the rest of us) are a U.S. citizen as your pathetic little diatribe is peppered with I's, WE's and OUR's ~ all of which infer BELONGING TO, as in ~ "I'M so proud" ~ "WE'VE all been screwed" ~ "chaos and anarchy are at OUR
doorstep" ~ Believe when I say that I sincerely wish you were writing from Canada, Mexico, Russia or Cambodia...or just about any other place on the planet.

Anonymous said...

Only in America could someone write a scathing commentary about everything that's wrong with our Country and then turn around and ask Mr. Collins to "control" other peoples comments because ~ "I speak the truth"

Sorry sweetheart, but that's how it works. You may be speaking the truth, but please don't flatter yourself. Most of us are aware of the darker side of U.S. history, and believe me when I say we ALL know about the economy. If you feel the need to go on and on, and on ad nauseum, knock your socks off, but to quote yourself ~ "nothing positive is gained by allowing thoughtless drivel to make its way into the ongoing discussion." ~ so why not give it a rest?

Anonymous said...

4:38pm - if you are from this country, we can only hope that you are planning to leave us real soon.
if you are brave enough to use your REAL name and address, I am sure that we can coordinate a very successful fundraiser for your immediate departure - one way!

Anonymous said...

"maintenance of an absolute respect for the right of individuality and the preservation of the rights and well-being of the people of this great nation "

Unfortunately this doesn't apply to property owners in Bristol .

Blight Nazis = 9
Property Owners = 0

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

God bless the usless city of Bristol's leaders, they sure need it.

Anonymous said...

Craig is it City Manager or COO that you are supporting?

Anonymous said...

3:35pm - craig will weigh that decision when everything is over and he can decide which serves him best - continues to waver on most issues.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I was referring to Craig Yarde, who was quoted earlier.