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The true patriot 'walks the walk'

April 22, 2002|BY BOB MAGINNIS

The true patriot 'walks the walk'

It's been six months since the events of Sept. 11, those terrible attacks that destroyed Americans' belief that events half a world away were someone else's problem. Citizens rallied, raised money for the terrorist victims, gave blood and displayed the flag in a powerful show of natgional solidarity.

Some of those flags are still where they were six months ago, but after being left in the wind, rain and heat for six months, they've become more than a little ragged, especically some of those car flags shredded by too many trips on the interstate.

We take note of those because the flag is a symbol of a nation, and while it will be relatively easy to replace those that are tattered, doing what's a citizen's duty is little bit harder.

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What we're referring to is the homework each American should do, starting now, so that he or she can vote intelligently in the November elections. The campaigns are just beginning and there's plenty of time to find out where the candidates stand and what they hope to accomplish. There are any number of sources of information, including newspapers, broadcast media and the candidates' own Web sites.

Please don't give us any excuses for not doing this, like the fact that your life is busy. How busy are the young Americans fighting in Afghanistan? At the end of your busy day you get to go home, without a second thought about whether you'll be alive the next morning.

Don't say it doesn't matter who's elected. Not too long ago a group of Washington County officials ran up millions in debt for the sewer system. If they'd been different people, the county might not face years of paying down that debt.

Sept. 11 happened in part because the government that was elected has become complacent about national security. This November we hope we'll see the majority of registered voters reject complacency, go to the the polls and prove that all the talk we heard about patriotism after Sept. 11 was not just talk.

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