Freedom of Speech
While I am on the subject of exercising Freedom of Speech –
About a year ago there were some people protesting our involvement in Iraq in Atlanta. They were orderly marching with signs.
Across the street were some elderly counter-demonstrators, a veterans organization, standing around holding signs supporting our involvement in Iraq.
It was on the news. A newsman asked one of the elderly war supporters his thoughts on why we should be in Iraq. He told the reporter his feelings on why we should be there. I forgot what he said, but I remember I disagreed with his reasoning.
Then the reporter asked him what he thought of the demonstrators across the street protesting the exact opposite of what he supported. Of course the reporter was trying to stir up something for the sake of his Pulitzer. The elderly man was a quiet man and a gentleman. In a very few short sentences he said something to this effect: “I wish people would leave those kids along. They have as much right to their opinion as we do ours. And that is one of the reasons I fought in a war, so we can keep on having freedom of speech – whether I agree with what they say is unimportant, leave them alone, they are not hurting anybody.”
I felt emotional. He was, in a sense, my foe, but he touched my soul.