News from the American Legion – Voting is Your Right!

By: John Lenotte, American Legion – July 2013

First, let me congratulate Congressman Ed Markey for his election victory and becoming our next U.S. Senator from Massachusetts.

Also, to Gabriel Gomez for stepping up to the plate and running as a candidate. I will let the political analysts debate about the significance or lack thereof in the 10% difference in the results.

However, I will comment on the extremely poor showing of voters, the lowest on record according to Secretary of State Galvin.

As I have mentioned in the past, voting is one of our most valuable freedoms but is taken so much for granted.

I feel honored and privileged when I am voting. It is something that just does not happen in other countries.

Yet there are many, our family, friends, and neighbors who will complain about government but never vote.

Voting is our opportunity to express our satisfaction or dissatisfaction with elected officials at any and all levels of government.

Warning: If you complain to me about how the government (at any level) is being conducted, the first thing out of my mouth will be “did you vote”? Let’s see what happens in the next election.

I did have the opportunity to attend a session of the American Legion Boys State/Girls State program in June at Stonehill College.

State Auditor Bump was a primary speaker at the inauguration ceremony and did a very good job.

The real stars were the 700 plus young adults, all just completing their junior year in high school, attending the program. They had the opportunity to learn about how government works at all levels: local, state and national. Unfortunately there were very few from Essex County. Hopefully we will have more representation next year.

Independence Day.

The 4th of July. Again, we all look forward to cookouts and fireworks, a nice day of no work for most of us.

How many will remember what we are celebrating?

Will you discuss this with your children or grandchildren?

Too easily we forget the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Our state is so rich in the history of the Revolution. Men from all over the area went to Lexington, Concord, and later Bunker Hill.

Look at your city/town history.

The original Tea Party in Boston Harbor. The real patriots like Sam Adams, John Adams, John Hancock, Paul Revere and many others who met in Faneuil Hall.

They put their lives, family and possessions at risk. And not all the colonists were in favor of breaking away from England.

Since that time, well over one million men and women have given their lives in defense of our country.

Let us not forget those who still suffer from the physical and mental wounds of war and the families who support them.

May God Bless America and the troops who defend our freedom.