Scrolling Headlines:

Quick Hits: A few standout performances highlight UMass football’s annual spring game -

April 21, 2017

Northampton cited as city choosing not to comply with ICE -

April 20, 2017

MASSPIRG hosts seminar on hunger and homelessness -

April 20, 2017

University Union hosts debate on Electoral College -

April 20, 2017

Stop fearing World War III -

April 20, 2017

UMass tennis gears up for weekend of Atlantic 10 matches -

April 20, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse to clinch CAA tournament berth with win over No. 10 Hofstra -

April 20, 2017

UMass softball squeaks past Boston College 2-1 Wednesday afternoon -

April 20, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse needs another big game from goalkeeper D.J. Smith against No. 10 Hofstra -

April 20, 2017

‘Your Name’ will defy your expectations -

April 20, 2017

‘Wilson’ is the weird neighbor who is worth a chance -

April 20, 2017

Online shopping may be easy, but retail stores are feeling the effects -

April 20, 2017

Fourth inning propels UMass baseball over Northeastern -

April 19, 2017

Fenway Park a unique change of scenery for UMass baseball -

April 19, 2017

Short-handed UMass baseball pitching staff provides quality work Wednesday in win over Northeastern -

April 19, 2017

DeJon Jarreau, Brison Gresham to transfer from UMass men’s basketball -

April 19, 2017

Panel discusses future of reproductive justice activism -

April 19, 2017

Don’t overlook South Sudan -

April 19, 2017

Students, faculty concerned about UMass Boston budget cuts -

April 19, 2017

Man who threatened to bomb Coolidge Hall attends court -

April 19, 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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