Tag Archives: Military

Freedom Every Day

I most often read the Weymouth News on-line these days. I like that format because it allows for comments even though a lot of people can’t seem to get around name calling and staying on subject. The past couple of years have been tough on our Town Of Weymouth, as it has been for all the cities and towns, and most of the news and subsequent comments can be a bit disheartening, even cruel; but that’s America for you, having the freedom to say what you want.
Personally, I’m proud of my town and the long tradition it has of recognizing those that defend our right to say what we want. No matter where I go in this town I see signs that remind me, not only that freedom shouldn’t be taken for granted, but that maybe things really aren’t all that bad here at home. Not too long ago I was traveling down Pleasant Street by Mutton Lane just after the sun had gone down and saw a lone figure walking over to the corner owned by Lt. Commander Laurence MacFawn. The head lights of passing cars lit up the man’s full white beard as he placed two United States flags on the Commander’s sign post and I thought “Wow, I guess that’s what Santa does when it’s not Christmas.” I smiled to myself for thinking that, knowing full well that the man was Weymouth’s Veterans Affairs Officer, Frank Burke. Mr. Burke has had to deal with budget cuts like all town employees recently and I suppose if he decided to skip placing those flags here and there, that they might not be missed. The thing is, Commander MacFawn was a Weymouth guy who piloted a jet off of an air craft carrier during World War Two. He was part of a unit called “The Saints” who sank quite a few Japanese war ships in the Pacific. In fact he did the same thing in the Korean War and probably would have done the same thing in Vietnam too, but because he chose a life of sacrifice, he made the ultimate sacrifice one day when the fighter he was piloting crashed. I figure at some point the economy will get better and all those people that got laid off will be back to work soon.
I often find myself sitting in traffic these days on Main Street. I still like to call it Main Street even though the State of Massachusetts has kind of taken it over and it’s better known as Route 18 now; and there are traffic lights and Dunkin Donuts galore all adding up to congestion and road rage. Whenever I’m sitting there, I try to remember to look over at Ernest Mowry’s sign. It’s not far from the Stetson Building on the median between Main and Front Streets. I fully expect that someday the sign will be gone, and never replaced. That’s what happened to Parker Jones sign further up Main Street by Factory Paint. For some reason, we’re calling it Poole’s Corner now. It may have been called Poole’s Corner before Parker Jones gave his life for our country and that’s okay, but they could have left his sign there. All I know is nobody remembers that it was named for Parker Jones. Second Lt. Jones was killed in action during the First World War, but he grew up right there on Pond Street not far from that intersection.
Anyway, it’s always a pleasure to see Private Mowry’s sign still there, with flags on it. Ernest Mowry actually grew up on Central Street, over by Stella Tirrell Park. He was an original member of the Fifth Marine Regiment. They were one of the first of America’s Expeditionary Forces to see the front lines, or Western Front in World War I. He was wounded on three separate occasions, returning to battle each time, until finally a bomb cut him down. That was in 1918, just 9 days before the Germans surrendered. He finally made it back to his hometown almost 3 years later, when his remains were repatriated. The American Legion helped bury him in that cemetery up on Pond Street and then a little while later the town remembered him by placing that sign there on Main Street. I don’t mind sitting in the traffic so much when I see his sign, with the flags on it.
I hear Mr. Burke will soon have another sign to put flags on. It’s going to be on Pleasant Street over by the High School. It’s going to be named for another young Marine Sgt., named Andrew Farrar, who died in Iraq. That corner isn’t far from the high school football field that’s named for Army Sgt. Jeffrey Mullin who was a casualty of the Gulf War; and about a ¼ mile the other way there’s Lt. Ralph Talbot’s street and corner. It’s hard to believe that young Weymouth men, and now even women, still have to go to faraway places to defend our comfortable hometown. It’s good that our comfortable hometown remembers them and reminds us every day, not just on Memorial Day, that things aren’t so bad.


Do Tell, Don’t Comment

WBZ recently made changes to their web site. Actually, it’s been a few weeks so all the kinks should be worked out by now and those of us who don’t handle change well should be used to it. In the past couple of years I have often commented on articles there, Jon Keller’s in particular. I like the new site and in fact started this little blog of my own as a result of accessing WordPress there.

I’m still trying to get used to the new site but it’s all good because I’m learning as I go. I’m thinking there must be a computerized comment moderator that has a list of words that are not allowed. I like to call it the “Comment Nazi”. I commented the other day on Jon’s blog about the repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, using the word “homosexual” and the comment did not go through. This has happened before with other words and thus entire comments are automatically trashed by the Nazi as a result.

The comment was “it’s good to know that our government has finally come to accept that homosexuals can be trained to kill just as readily as heterosexuals”.

I just tried to submit the comment again by starring a couple of letters in the word ho**osexual and it still did not appear. I now notice, in the same blog posting, that Mr. Keller did not use that word; we’ll call it the “H” word. I know I’m getting old but is homosexual a bad word? Is “gay” more politically correct? I may need to update my PC dictionary.

I notice in Dr. Cindi Love’s article here, that she uses the “H” word. It’s all very confusing. I’m just glad that the military is no longer confused, even if John McCain and David Bahati are.

The Weymouth News

The Weymouth News newspaper is the only news I get in hard print anymore. All other forms of media I receive via web access, including Wicked Local Weymouth, which is the on-line version of the Weymouth News, or at least should be. As more and more newspapers become extinct, their web sites will be the only way to get the news, in its various forms, and eventually their respective outlets, in this case Gatehouse Media, will be forced to charge a fee for on-line access. The reason I continue to get the printed version of the Weymouth News is because they do not post all the articles found in print, on the web site. I have submitted some articles over the past couple of years that appeared in print but not on-line. The on-line version of news opinion allow for immediate comments, whereas the print versions require a “letter to the editor” that, if it appears at all, won’t be seen for at least a week after the initial opinion was read. I have also submitted this blog site, through an invitation to do so, that has yet to be linked to on the Wicked Local site. What I’m alluding to here is that I don’t understand the policy of the Weymouth News, when it comes to what gets posted on-line, what gets printed and what doesn’t.

Today I read a letter to the editor written by Kevin Borth. I have several issues with the letter, some that apply to Gatehouse Media, and some with Mr. Borth. First off, it has always been  Gatehouse’s policy to limit outside opinion to a certain number of words. I know that this policy is probably flexible, but Mr. Borth’s opinion appeared alongside another letter to the editor that was also beyond the word count limit. Not a big deal I suppose, so long as all letters and opinions are published, which they are not. Of course that would be costly in the print form, although not so much in the on-line form. Mr. Borth’s opinion also was available in print and on-line. He must be related to someone in the front office. In fairness, the other letter was available in both forms of media as well, so perhaps the policy has changed. It’s just a tad frustrating that a simple link to my blog, which is Weymouth related, is ignored while off subject opinions that go against policy find their way into everyone’s home.

As far as the content of Mr. Borth’s opinion goes, it is sensationalism, which is probably why it was published; to get comments and feedback. Unfortunately, most of the comments were by the same two people, and a third that clearly needs therapy, but that is nothing new. It’s easy to write sensationalized popular opinions, ones that call for all illegal immigrants to be deported for example, or as in this case, being critical of one’s freedom of speech under the guise of patriotism. The point is, Mr. Borth’s opinion had nothing to do with the “editor”, the “Weymouth” news, or the original opinion by Jean York.

I went back several weeks to try and find an article by Ms. York that was critical of the military. I didn’t find it, although it may have been written months ago. Perhaps a reference or link to it in Mr. Borth’s letter would have helped. Truth be told, I never read Ms. York’s column. Not because I disagree, but because it never has anything to do with “Weymouth” news. The same can be said of other weekly columns in the Weymouth News.

Lastly, my personal opinion of Mr. Borth’s letter is that, for someone who spent 27 years in the military, he should be ashamed to write an opinion that so blatantly separates the United States military duty from the rights and freedom of its citizens. He uses words such as “we” and “us” when referring to the military, and “you” when speaking of following orders. When last I checked “we” were the United States Of America, and “we” just might be of the opinion that Iraq and Afghanistan are not where “our” military should be.

Cindy McCain

I wonder who Cindy McCain will vote for in the next Presidential election. Her husband Senator John McCain is a leading opponent to repealing the childish “don’t ask, don’t tell” military policy while Cindy continues to be an outspoken critic. If we saw more of people like Cindy, stumping for Republicans, instead of Sarah Palin, they might actually stand a chance of winning in 2012.
The link is about bullying but Mrs. McCain makes some interesting statements.