Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Issue in Pine City, MN

Members of the MN Patriot Guard

This last weekend we did our mission proud in support of MSgt Fedder in Pine City, MN. On Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday each day over 100 people turned out to stand in support of this hero and show his family and community we recognize his service and sacrifice. The flag lines stretching across the parking lots and streets on those cloudy days brightened up the faces of those attending.

Sadly, one person who claimed to be a member of the MN Patriot Guard risked all the good that was done those days. Some person called the Pine City City Hall and demanded that a flag on private property be lowered to half staff and then attempted illegally to do it themselves when they weren't satisfied with the response.

Some facts.....

A. The only flags that had to be lowered by proclamation that day are those of government offices and facilities. This is directly from the Governors proclamation; "all U.S. flags and Minnesota flags be flown at half-staff at all state and federal buildings in the State of Minnesota, from sunrise until sunset on Tuesday, September 7, 2010."

B. The flag being flown at full height was done so because flying at half staff would have endangered people with the flag touching electrical lines.

C. It is not the duty or right of anyone claiming to be a MN Patriot Guard member to try to force a personal belief on any private business or individual. This organization does not do that.

D. This alleged member committed an illegal act by touching the flag pole on private property. This person could have been arrested for this.

There is no question that the flag, if it could have been safely done, been flown at half staff out of respect for MSgt Fedder sacrifice. I think it is sad that the flag isn't revered as it used to be. That people are allowed to do everything from flying it upside down to making fun of it publicly is a disgrace to the men and women who died defending it.

That doesn't give any private citizen the right to do anything illegally about it though and especially doing it on the behalf of the MN Patriot Guard. One person, in one act, possibly undid all the good that was done by hundreds of other people in Pine City. This person, whoever they may be, should be ashamed of themselves for their selfish behavior.

To the residents of Pine City, MN, and the property owner involved, we apologize on behalf of our organization and please know this is nothing that we condone. Whoever this person was did not do this on our behalf. We believe in the freedoms and laws our heroes have fought and died for and would never support an illegal act such as this. Our hearts continue to be with the family of MSgt Fedder and the community of Pine City.

Douglas Bley

State Captain