I read with interest the Concord Bridge article on March 3 about the Concord for Ukraine group being denied a spot in the Patriot’s Day parade. The parade is certainly a time to commemorate the courage and sacrifice that residents of Concord and surrounding towns made in fighting for our freedom and independence on April 19, 1775. They fought for the right to be free of the rule of the king, to be able to govern themselves. They fought for democracy. They made a stand and put their lives on the line for the future of this country.
The people in Ukraine are doing exactly that right now, fighting against Russian autocracy for the future of their country. Why wouldn’t we want to spotlight them and include them in the parade? Democracy is under attack around the world, and in this country. We all saw the events that unfolded on January 6, 2021. The former president has continued to repeat the lie that he won the election. Fox news reporters have broadcast and supported that lie, knowing that it isn’t true. Many states are passing laws to make it harder to vote.
I have marched in the Patriot’s Day parade in the past, behind the Reclaim Our Democracy banner and the American Promise banner. Those groups have now also been excluded from the parade as being too political.
Concord and the North Bridge are symbols of democracy for the whole country. Today’s Concord residents need to once again take a stand in this battle for the future of our country. We should not put our heads in the sand and exclude groups from the parade that are advocating for democracy. It’s not who we are.
Fred Van Deusen