Earlier this week, I was reading our Courier trying to decide whether or not my wife and I should celebrate our 62nd wedding anniversary by attending the patriotic program downtown on July Fourth.

As I read organizer Don VanRenterghem’s guest column, I became more and more concerned.

It seemed that those he regarded as political opponents were labeled as Tories. If he regards George Soros as a Tory, I wonder how he would label the Koch Brothers? Patriots?

As I believe in some of the ideas of those he has dubbed Tories, I expect I would also be labeled a Tory.

In fact, my German-speaking great-great-great-great-grandfather spent that brutal winter of 1776 encamped with Gen. George Washington at Valley Forge. He was definitely not a Tory!

I will never know what motivated him, but I like to think it was a vision of a country free to choose its own destiny.

It worries me a great deal to see our country being split into camps that hate each other. It is almost like Ohio State versus Michigan in football. We are being programmed to not only disagree with each other but to actively hate those who think differently than ourselves.

Clever political advisers have found that the best way to win an election is to make the opponent evil and, therefore, not electable.

I think this noble experiment in democracy works best under the big tent concept. Under this tent are people of different color, different religious beliefs and, yes, those of widely different views about how we should govern ourselves.

I believe it was patriot Lincoln who said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” It appears our USA house is becoming dangerously divided.

Perhaps we should pay more attention to those things that unite us rather than those that divide us.

Well, we passed on the downtown performance. It was just going to be too darn hot.

I close with a short poem by my great-aunt Lettie Young of Crooked Tree, Noble County, Ohio:

I fought my foe with all my might

But when we had done the fight

Was he so wrong?

Was I so right?

Myron Cline




In spite of the intense heat, the “Spirit of 1776” was celebrated in downtown Findlay on July Fourth with patriotism and pride.

The crowds attending the parade and those people dressed as colonialists seemed to be caught up in the spirit of the day!

• George Washington’s “firsthand” account of his troops’ dedication to our independence was proven by the fact many of them were 13 and 14. All were very determined, even though they were many times without food, shoes, and winter clothing.

• Ben Franklin told us of the 56 founders and the many sacrifices they each made. Because of their involvement and focus, several were killed, penniless, or died early.

• Alexander Hamilton, dressed in period clothes, walked among the crowd, telling of his experiences and answering questions.

• The Civil War soldier gave information and answered the crowd’s questions, regarding Findlay’s history of the “gas boom” and glass factories.

• The Indian chief of the Saponi-Catawba Nation tribe, Richard Haithcock, gave detailed, historical Indian war happenings.

• The 1st Ohio Light Artillery battery members presented a replica war cannon and answered questions.

• The story of the 5th U.S. Colored Troops infantry regiment during the Civil War was explained by eight members, giving the motto of “Victory or Death.”

• Sam Adams gave an account of how the original Constitution was established, its founders’ reasons and purpose of self-governance. He said, “Numerous have been the manifestations of God’s providence in sustaining us! We have been reduced to stress, and the arm of omnipotence has raised us up!”

He added, “Let us still rely in humble confidence in him, who is mighty to save. Good tidings will soon arrive. We shall never be abandoned by heaven, while we act worthy of its aid and protection.”

We appreciate the effort put forth to bring these very informed patriots to our community for such a professional presentation. Much credit goes to Don VanRenterghem and members of the Hancock Constitutionalists group, and all those who contributed to make the day a success.

DuWayne and Kathy Chambers




Republican Sen. Susan Collins (Courier, Page A1, July 2) must think she’s really with it to not be in favor of any Supreme Court pick that is pro-life. But she is too late.

They are all potentially pro-life and the Roe v. Wade ruling on abortion can be overturned.

It was not a law, but a judicial decision or ruling that set precedent, and those who think it cannot be reversed are mistaken. Scientifically, life has been proven to begin at conception and, when this is put into place, the constitutional right to life will be and must be upheld and abortion will be illegal once again.

If it has to go to the states first, so be it, but I believe that with God all things are possible.

Ohio, I do believe that’s our state motto!

Deborah Peterson