Mariano: Flag burning is a very emotional issue

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Ray Mariano

Ray Mariano

Growing up in the turbulent 1960s and ’70s, protests, some involving flag burning, occurred with some frequency. At that time, people felt their government leaders were lying to them. They were angry and their emotions were boiling over.

I was never comfortable with burning the American flag. Even as a young protester, burning the flag seemed the exact opposite of the point we were trying to make.

Most of us were saying that we loved our country and it was because we loved it that we expected more from our leaders. I always thought that we should have raised the flag high and let leaders know that this was OUR country.

As a young elected official, I remember being confronted with the issue. As the City Council was considering whether to pass some sort of law prohibiting flag burning, I turned to my dad for advice.

Mariano: Young patriots, raise your voices

“To those who find student protests un-American, I would remind you that this is precisely what freedom looks like. It is highly likely that the freedoms that you cherish were won, at least in part, by patriotic young Americans who dreamed of making their country better.”

Father John Madden

Mariano: Remember the good they do

Ray Mariano tells how men like Father Madden and Monsignor Scollen have helped restore his faith as controversies of all sizes, including the closing of Worcester’s beloved Our Lady of Mount Carmel, continue to chip away at the church’s foundation.