The following came from a parent of soldiers who attended the Crystal Lake Memorial Day Service in Crystal Lake:
I attended the Crystal Lake’s Memorial Day Parade and very moving ceremony at the cemetery.
As a friend and I were leaving the cemetery we were stopped, just yards from the cemetery, by a woman asking for petition signatures to get Jim Harrison’s name on the ballot for sheriff.
We declined, but she insisted that a person could vote for anyone they wanted and signing her petition just would help get her candidate on the ballot.
I don’t know if the logic of this escaped her, but it certainly didn’t escape us and seemed to be an obvious attempt to get signatures she probably would not have otherwise obtained.
Someone leaving the cemetery asked if perhaps she could move further away from the site since her position so nearby was offensive and disrespectful on Memorial Day.
She declined saying she had permission to be there.
Permission or not, her location and actions were outrageous.
I called the City Manager’s office the following morning and was told this campaign worker did NOT have permission from the city to be there.
Even if she had obtained permission, her campaigning on Memorial Day was shameful.
When this campaign worker was asked a second time if she could move away from the cemetery her reply was, “it isn’t a holy day.”
I have two sons serving our country; one is in Afghanistan for a second tour of duty.
He has lost friends to this war and to him, to his battalion, and to the families of these Fallen Heroes it IS a holy day!
Memorial Day was a highly inappropriate time for campaigning and her location just yards from sacred ground was particularly offensive.
A Memorial Day ceremony is only a few steps removed from a funeral for people who had lost loved ones and friends to war; it may not have been a religious holy day, but holy nonetheless!
To paraphrase the ceremony’s speaker, Joe Alger,
“We are free, we have the right to practice our religion or not, to criticize government, to burn a flag, to protest at military funerals, and hold up outlandish signs. We have these freedoms, right or wrong, because of the sacrifices made by the men and women we honor today.”
Campaigning outside a ceremony honoring the sacrifices of the very people who fought for her right to campaign at all was extremely disrespectful and lacking in human decency.