Why the accusation?

By Tim Wagner, Decorah

Like Julie Fischer, I too was appalled to see Editor Kate Klimesh judge County Supervisor Shirley Vermace for her choice to not visibly mouth the words when the Pledge of Allegiance is recited before weekly meetings (July 27, 2023). 

As a former trained journalist, I must ask “Why?” 

Of all the various high-profile issues regarding the Board of Supervisors that has attracted extraordinary levels of citizen attention and participation this past seven months, wouldn’t a prudent editor devote their ink and energy to real problems of which people actually care?

And why the accusation that Vermace doesn’t recite the pledge, after she stated, “I recite it in my head and in my heart. Everyone does it their own way.” This seems like an attempt to imply guilt when there clearly is none. 

On at least three occasions in the piece, Klimesh laments our country’s political divide. This begs the question: Who’s throwing gas on that fire? It isn’t Supervisor Vermace.

Regarding the Veterans’ letter, my father served proudly in WWII fighting the fascism of Japan. If he were alive, he would shake his head in disbelief at the hypocrisy. What part of the last six words of the Pledge is unclear? Where is it stated in code that national pride is only conveyed by citing the pledge out loud? Ironically, this is a similar threat to freedom that my dad fought against. 

Lastly, if they had attended the meetings that they are quick to judge, they would know that during the Pledge, Supervisors Vermace and Faldet do stand with their heads high and their hands on their hearts.

Perhaps we should all devote more of our energy to real issues, instead of a fabricated culture war. Doing so would go a long way towards repairing our divisions. 


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