Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Thursday, February 23, 2006

An Open Letter Regarding Col. Gregory Boyington

Received this e-mail today:
We are very concerned with the negative generalizations about the University of Washington over the last week relating to the memorial for Col. Gregory Boyington. Due to the failure in the Student Senate of Resolution 12-18, "A Resolution Calling for a Tribute for Col. Gregory 'Pappy' Boyington, USMC," many newspapers, radio talk-shows, and other public discussion forums have portrayed all of the students at the University as being opposed to the construction of this memorial, and have accused us of showing grave disrespect to our nation's veterans.

Many students do not share the opinion the Senate has expressed by failing this Resolution, and in fact many of us argued vehemently for the approval of this memorial. In the end the decision came down to a single vote and we want to stress that half of the Senators did support the memorial. The comments that were made by a few individual Senators during the meeting do not in any way reflect the opinions of
us all.

All people should be respected and recognized for their hard work, their achievements, and the sacrifices they make for others. President John F. Kennedy told us to "ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country." Col. Boyington is an excellent example of someone who has done just that, and did everything that his country asked of him, and then more. He is a Marine who went above and beyond the call of duty, and sacrificed everything to defend the
freedoms and liberties we cherish so fondly and we are proud that he was an alumnus of our University.

We are just as appalled as many members of the public by the openly racist remark that a student leader made. It is truly sad that four decades after Martin Luther King Jr. spoke about his dream for the future, there are still people who judge whether a person deserves to be commemorated based on his or her race, gender, and sexual orientation. We are truly sorry that such comments and thoughts continue to circulate in our society and that over the last week they have become associated with the University of Washington.

We have sadly found out last week that there are some student Senators who do not appreciate the immense sacrifices made by all veterans in order to preserve the freedoms that we so easily now take for granted, but many students recognize and deeply appreciate these great sacrifices. We are grateful to all servicemen and women, past and present, who have dedicated their lives to protecting our country and we feel nothing but the deepest respect for them.

We can only hope that in the future all graduates of our University will be able to live up to the example set such people as Col. Boyington. We are very proud that our University produced one of the finest members of our Armed Forces, and will do everything we can to make sure that in the future UW graduates are associated with people such as Col. Boyington.

We feel truly sorry and apologize to all veterans and to those currently defending our country for not being able to convince the student Senate to make a decision that would make our University look deserving in the eyes of those who love our country.

Mikhail Smirnov, ASUW Senator
Paul Fleurdelys, ASUW Senator
Gary Stute, ASUW Senator
Yongwook Choi, ASUW Senator
Jonathan Evans, ASUW Senator
Charles Cadwallader, ASUW Senator
Andrew P. D. G. Everett, ASUW Senator
Brandon Gregory, ASUW Senator
Colin A. Thomas, ASUW Senator
Brandt Hofstetter, ASUW Senator
Sarah E. Cunningham, ASUW Member
Dan Lowry, ASUW Member
Nathan D. Badle, ASUW Member
Good for them. The UW College Republicans need to stage a campus takeover like they did back in the early 80s.

1 comment:

April E. Coggins said...

Thank you for posting the E-mail. It is far more important to be American patriots than it is to be a Cougar vs. Husky.