Letters to the Editor for June 7, 2018

City Councilman explains ‘hand salute’ comment on Memorial Day

On Monday, May 28, I was honored to make an address at the Memorial Day service at the Washougal Cemetery. During that address, I cited the Defense Authorization Act of 2008-09 that addressed the honoring of our flag during military and civic functions. That act authorizes veterans to render a hand salute when the flag is presented during the posting of the colors, the National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance. The act states that military veterans may render a hand salute during those times when the flag is presented. My understanding of the act is that it not only authorizes, but encourages, veterans to do just that. I encouraged all veterans to render a hand salute during those times.

Different branches of the military have chosen to render honors to the flag in different ways. For example, the Commandant of the United States Marine Corps in the past has advised Marines, when in civilian attire, to continue with past traditions and place their hands over their hearts during these events. Other branches have chosen to do the same.

Just because a veteran does not render a hand salute does not mean that they are any less patriotic than anyone else. If my remarks implied that, then I am sorry to have offended anyone.

Veterans are permitted to render honors in their own way, and I am not trying to change that. A hand salute or your hand over your heart does not make you any more or less patriotic. We are a nation that honors our flag, under God, and that is the most important thing.

Washougal City Councilman
Ray Kutch, Washougal

Camas should survey residents about fireworks

The city of Washougal sent out a survey online to learn if a majority of citizens found neighborhood fireworks to be too risky for their homes and parks. Now, they allow “safe and sane” fireworks, which only go one foot into the air, and no more than six feet on the ground.

Surveying your citizens is a great idea. Why not do it? I would like Camas City Council to send out a survey to learn how the citizens of Camas feel about neighborhood fireworks. Please call our City Council at 360-834-6864 and encourage them to find out by a survey how many residents think neighborhood fireworks are too dangerous and risky for our homes and parks.

Barb Hail, Camas