Scrolling Headlines:

An open letter to the students of UMass -

March 24, 2017

Pat Kelsey informs UMass AD Ryan Bamford of change of heart just 35 minutes before scheduled press conference -

March 23, 2017

Past and present UMass football players participate in 2017 Pro Day Thursday -

March 23, 2017

Pat Kelsey reportedly backs down from UMass men’s basketball coaching position -

March 23, 2017

Students react to new fence around Townehouses -

March 23, 2017

‘Do You Have The Right To Do Drugs?’ debate held in Bowker Auditorium -

March 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse looks to build on three-game winning streak against Brown -

March 23, 2017

UMass softball riding five-game win streak into first Atlantic 10 showdown -

March 23, 2017

Sanzo: Inability to win close games has hurt UMass baseball -

March 23, 2017

Hannah Murphy scores 100th career goal in UMass women’s lacrosse 16-9 win over Harvard -

March 23, 2017

Old age does no harm to indie rock legends The Feelies -

March 23, 2017

A track-by-track breakdown of Drake’s new project -

March 23, 2017

When a president lies -

March 23, 2017

Let them eat steak, and other gender norms I hate -

March 23, 2017

Dissecting Science: Episode Two -

March 22, 2017

Holy Cross 10-run eighth inning sinks UMass baseball -

March 22, 2017

UMass students react to Spring Concert lineup -

March 22, 2017

Letter: Vote yes for Amherst -

March 22, 2017

You don’t have to walk alone -

March 22, 2017

Tyler Bogart and D.J. Smith lead UMass men’s lacrosse during three game win streak -

March 22, 2017

Letter to the Editor: local veterans on Hampshire flag burning

(Christina Yacono/ Daily Collegian)

(Christina Yacono/ Daily Collegian)

To the Editor:

We write to offer a veterans’ viewpoint different from those dominating the events at Hampshire College. We are members of chapter 95, Veterans for Peace, an international veteran’s organization whose mission is to build a culture of peace, expose the true costs of war and heal the wounds of war. Though we wouldn’t burn the flag, we applaud and support the work of Hampshire College students and administrators in creating a teachable moment. We believe in the right to free speech, to listen and to protest. We find the threats to Hampshire students, administrators and reporters to be reprehensible and contrary to values we served to protect.

Mayor Domenic Sarno of Springfield says the flag represents “freedom, democracy, strength and hope.” As veterans, we served our country with the hope of protecting such values. But we also recognize that those values – spoken so easily on days like Veterans Day – are not all that the flag symbolizes.

It cannot be denied that horrible things have been done under the flag. In the United States, we often ignore and erase the truth: unending immoral wars and occupations, denial of Native American sovereignty, repression of many Americans’ civil rights, as well as betrayal of service members and veterans. As veterans of moral conscience, we choose to see the full impact of our country’s choices.

Howard Zinn said, “There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.” To be proud of being an American without seeing our darkness is a deadly sin. Our flag represents multiple truths – both inspiring and terrible. We must work on seeing and acknowledging where we fall short of our ideals, not just seeing what we want to believe.

Although flag burning is free speech that we are pledged to defend, we wash the flag, metaphorically and literally. It’s time to wash the flag so that we can fly it proudly without stains and tatters. The work of setting right the wrongs done under the flag will take a long time, so we must do it every day. The first step of mending the social fabric is not ignoring the harm done by some of our country’s choices.

Daniel Ritchie lives in Easthampton, and Eric Wasileski lives in Greenfield.

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