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Letters to the Editor

Letter: Freedom and leadership

  • Author: John Farleigh
    | Opinion
  • Updated: 4 days ago
  • Published 4 days ago

I was born in Anchorage in the early 1950s. I still live in the house that I grew up in. I remember, when I was a child, every window in the house had blackout window shades under the curtains. Why? Because after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and occupied parts of Alaska, Americans who lived within striking distance of the Pacific Ocean were terrified that a sneak attack was imminent. Everyone was required to black out all windows so that no light would escape and give an enemy bomber a target.

Fortunately, everyone cooperated and notwithstanding Pearl Harbor, no West Coast community was ever bombed. Was it because every town was pitch black at night? Possibly. There were reports of airplanes heard at night, but nobody can say if they were Japanese. People complied because they were patriotic, and nobody wanted to be the one that caused their neighbors to be attacked.Being selfish is the opposite of patriotism. People like Sen. Lora Reinbold, who refuse to “mask up” or get the vaccine, using the weak excuse that their freedom is being compromised, are just plain selfish.

Does Sen. Reinbold think that her “freedom” entitles her to smoke on an airplane? Is she free to scream “fire” in a crowded theater or fire her gun on the Park Strip on the Fourth of July? Of course not. All rights have limits. People during WWII could have used the “freedom” argument to not black out their windows. After all, wasn’t “freedom” what we were fighting for?

But Americans used to have the common courtesy to believe that they were their brother’s keepers. Very few would compromise the safety of their community because of a minor inconvenience. That is all wearing a mask or getting a “jab” entails. A tiny effort to make our home safer and to protect our neighbors.Sen. Reinbold and her ilk prove that they firmly believe that their comfort and laziness is more important to them than the health and safety of our community. That is the antithesis of empathy, patriotism, community and leadership. Alaskans have always had to look out for each other. And elected leaders used to feel the need to lead by example. Sen. Reinbold should be ashamed of herself.

— John Farleigh


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