News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Letters

September 2, 2012

READERS’ FORUM: Sept. 2, 2012

Local candidate not allowed in holiday parade

My name is Caleb Fleschner. I am running for an elected position in this upcoming election in Vigo County.

My supporters and I planned to walk in the Wabash Valley Labor Day parade. I thought I was accepted; I paid the $25 entry fee and received a letter stating where I would be walking. But to my surprise, I received a letter on Thursday from Mr. Charles Toth saying that I had been denied the chance to walk in the parade without so much as an explanation.

In my opinion, it is because of my political affiliation. My father served in the military for 31 years and my grandfather put his life on the line overseas in order to protect my right as a citizen of the United States to choose my political affiliation. That is a right afforded to all citizens, just like the freedom of speech or the freedom of religion. This country was built on the notion of democracy.

But how is it democracy when you are discriminated against because of your political affiliation? Now I understand why the veterans in this county are so angry that they can’t smoke in their own private clubs.

Sadly, my father is no longer with us; he passed away six years ago. Growing up as a military child, I will always remember him going on about how this is the greatest country on the face of the Earth and how he was honored to have served. He and my grandfather were honored to fight and possibly make the ultimate sacrifice in order to protect the rights for all Americans. I can’t imagine what my father would think if he were alive today and saw what has been happening; that his son, who is trying to make a difference in this community, can’t even walk in his local Labor Day parade because of his political affiliation.

All I want to say is thank you, thank you to the powers that be that opened my eyes.

— Caleb Fleschner

Candidate for

Vigo County Commissioner

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