Just to introduce myself, my name is Antonio Molle, I am a 13- year old lifelong resident of Watertown. I am writing to express my extreme disappointment and frustration in Town Councilor Caroline Bays for taking a knee during the pledge of allegiance at the recent town council inauguration. An elected official is expected to set a good example for all citizens, especially our town’s youngest citizens. Being proud of our country means being a good role model. Before long, some Watertown students will be kneeing during the pledge of allegiance at the beginning of each school day.
Councilor Bays is making some Watertown youth think that our flag and our country are not great. This country has battled for freedom in every corner of the world, and has lost many lives doing so. The flag that Councilor Bays decided to disrespect makes a mockery of the many men and women that have fought and died for it. Why did those brave soldiers die for citizens who thought so little of them?
America is the best country in the world because Americans are able to make changes when something is wrong through the democratic process. The flag that Councilor Bays has disrespected, is the same flag that is represents her freedom to conduct this protest. America stands for freedom, liberty, and justice. It stands for our constitution, more specifically our rights and freedoms as a people. Very few countries can boast of the unrestricted freedoms and rights that Americans have. Of course American isn’t perfect. But like any person, our nation grows and goes through growing pains. We should work to make America a better place, not disrespect the flag that represents our freedom to grow and learn from our mistakes.
In a closing note, Councilor Bays’ “compromise” was a “kneel” into public pressure rather than a genuine apology. Her “olive branch” is not a compromise. If she really wants to show the public that she meant no offense, she should participate in the full Pledge of Allegiance, not bow her head in silent prayer.