Each Independence Day, citizens across the U.S. reflect on America’s unique history of freedom and honor those brave men and women who fought – and continue to fight – so hard to protect it. In one Minnesota community, however, a July Fourth parade was deemed no place for one disabled veteran.
According to a report by Examiner.com, Charlie Makidon was prepared for the International Falls parade, during which he hoped to pass out literature detailing the perceived duplicitous nature of U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan’s attitude toward veterans. Although the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party congressman proudly declares himself an advocate for current and former military members, Makidon spent a significant amount of his own money to print fliers showing the times he had voted against their best interest.
As Examiner cited, Nolan heralds his work on “bills to help our service members, veterans, and their families” in a post on his official website.
Upon further review, however, some of his purported advocacy strikes some as less than inspiring. For example, he supports one bill that allows veterans to seek private medical care only after more than four months of being unable to make an appointment at a military facility.
When parade organizer Kevin Adee got word of the former Disabled American Veterans commander’s intention, he quickly informed Makidon that he was not welcome.
Upon hearing that the veteran had been kicked out of the parade, one attendee took a special interest in getting to the bottom of the incident. Koochiching County Republican Party Chairman Terry Stone approached Adee and demanded answers.
The organizer reportedly told Stone that, since the parade was a family event, the veteran could not take part in the political activity. Upset, the GOP leader informed Adee that the U.S. Constitution is irrevocably connected to the American family.
He elaborated on his concern in an interview with the Examiner.
“I guess the First Amendment’s protections don’t extend all the way to the Canadian border,” he lamented.
Stone noted that the freedom of speech holds a special place of importance in America’s overall freedom – which should be the focus of any Independence Day event.
Photo credit: las – initially (Flickr)
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom