To the editor,
“Vandelism? Hate? Stoopidity?”
To the person or persons who in the dark of night on July 7th, tore down and shredded the American flag from the porch of one of our dear and valued elders, leaving behind one torn stripe: We have the following questions.
1. Do you know this this man?
2. Were you enjoying what your did, perhaps with the aid of alcohol or drugs?
3. Many American flags were flying that night on the street where he lives in Jonesville.
4. Do you know this man?
5. Why did you choose His flag?
6. What was the reason that compelled you to do this?
7. What is your True Name? Is it Hate? Is it Immaturity? Is it Intolerance? Is it Ignorance? Is it Coward?
8. The above are NOT the True Name of the man whose American flag you tore asunder.
9. Will you step forward and be accountable for your actions? In the light of day?
10. Will you answer these questions?
Let me tell you some things about the man on whose property you trespassed and vandalized the American flag in the dark of the night.
He is 74 years young. He is the son of first generation immigrants who worked very hard to support their 7 children. He was the only son. Recognizing he was intellectually gifted, this remarkably cohesive and large family, pooled their pennies to set him on a path of education, and through perseverance, hard work and determination, he earned his college Master’s degree.
He is an American citizen of these United States and served his country during the Vietnam War.
He married his beloved and while raising their 2 sons, he held leadership positions in both State and Country Government in another state. At the same time, he and his wife had an open door policy to those in need …. both the two leggeds and the four leggeds. As a team they were leaders and advocates for the less fortunate, the disinfranchised and the poor — wherever they have lived.
That list is very long.
Could you be among those people?
In his 40s, he left his position in government and the affluent lifestyle he had earned to enter the Seminary and became an Episcopal Priest.
He long ago chose the Path of Peace and non violent social activism in his life.
He lost his dear wife very unexpectedly 3 years ago.
Have you perhaps lost someone you dearly loved?
His sons are grown now. The youngest, who lost every material thing he owned, including his home, to Hurricane Katrina, is a Firefighter. His wife, daughter and all living creatures were rescued. Since then he and his wife, in spite of their own losses have been hands on participants in helping others rebuild their lives.
His eldest son, has had a multi faceted career, was an AP photographer in N. Y. and witnessed/documented the unfolding horrors of the tragedy of the World Trade Centers. During this time he was also in training and became an opera singer. Traveling the world. This came to a screeching halt when brain cancer presented itself. Despite the challenges of continuing experimental treatment, he continues his own non violent social activism and perseveres with optimism, work, humor and dogged determination.
What sorrows or challenges have you had in your life?
He has a granddaughter whom he adores and who adores him to the moon and back.
Do you have children or grands or parents or relatives who feel the same?
His friends are too many to count and include all ethnicities, races, and faiths.
His friendships span the globe.
Do you have true friends?
In the communities of Jonesville and Elkin, he is recognized as a humble man of Faith.
He drinks his coffee every morning on his porch … with gratitude.
His home welcomes others with warmth, humor and inclusivity
He is a gentle man. He is a gentleman.
Are you a gentle man or gentle woman? Are you a gentleman or gentlewoman?
He sees beyond the exterior of others. He sees their True Name and Heart.
Among His True Names are Love, Enlightenment, Tolerance and Courage.
Are you a man or woman who can see in yourself any of the attributes of this man?
You should know his neighbors and scores of others have rallied to him on both sides of the River Yadkin.
Some are outraged at your actions. Some want to understand why you would do this.
Do you have the courage to respond?
You can be assured you will be heard.
Is he a Perfect Man? Of course not. None of us are Perfect. Nor are You.
You should know that your actions have been reported to the authorities by a neighbor.
What he and we HOPE is that you will come out of your shadow and let your voice be heard in a way that can be understood in a more positive way.
A way that can transcend whatever differences you may perceive and lead us to agree to disagree with mutual respect and integrity.
What say you?
Submitted by Nancy Neaves Schieber, Elkin, on behalf of many, many, many people who support this letter and this man. July 8, 2015.
Nancy Neaves Scheiber