To the Editor:
We, at Jefferson Grange No. 1384, wish to commend the students of Blue Mountain who helped lead the charge against the change in policy that would bar graduating seniors who had enlisted in the military from wearing stoles indicating their choice to serve.
Along with their parents and several other community members, they eventually saw the decision overturned — a victory for us all in a way because we see just how much this next generation believes in honoring those who volunteer to serve and protect our nation.
We believe school districts, who have instilled patriotism through morning pledges and various lessons throughout the years, should also find ways to honor each brave individual who enters our armed forces before or after graduation. They choose to fight for us, so we must always fight for and show our appreciation for them.
One other lesson to learn from this that seems the hardest to teach: meetings of our elected officials, from borough councils to school boards, must be taken seriously and better attended. When so few individuals — including the press — show up to witness the work of even the smallest governing bodies, decisions are made on behalf of citizens that are sometimes well out-of-line with those citizens’ values.
We cannot thank the young people stepping up to serve in our military enough. We also thank the students who rose to their defense for showing us that patriotism, reverence for service and civil disagreement are all part of their generation’s vocabulary.
Our values align perfectly with these young people and we welcome them to join us in continuing their advocacy and service. To learn more, visit jeffersongrange1384pa.org.
Civic Engagement and Advocacy Director
and the members of Jefferson Grange No. 1384