Editorial: Occupy Niles rally bad timingPublished 10:47pm Wednesday, November 9, 2011
A third Occupy Niles rally is scheduled on Veterans Day during the same time as the American Legion’s annual ceremony at 11 a.m. Friday. The events will be at different locations — the rally at the Four Flags Memorial at the intersection of South 11th and Main streets, the Legion ceremony at the veterans’ monument at Riverfront Park.
The Occupy Niles participants have the freedom to protest whenever and wherever they want. Veterans have fought for the freedom to assemble.
Occupy Niles organizer Matthew Rosenhagen, a Niles resident and a veteran, is planning to collect donations for homeless vets Friday. We salute his service to our country and respect his efforts to draw attention to veterans’ issues.
However, we believe this time was not the best choice. Although there are many local veteran-related events in the area throughout the week, including Friday, the Legion’s ceremony is the best attended.
Our stance is that we should dedicate this short amount of time — no length of time will ever be enough — to recognize these heroes with a tribute. This rally will pose a distraction downtown, particularly with motorists passing by to attend the Legion’s ceremony.
Veterans Day ceremonies touch many people, and are not only very important to vets, but their families, friends, current service members and other citizens.
Occupy Niles should respect the people who want to assemble for this ceremony, and plan accordingly for their rally so that it doesn’t coincide with the other scheduled event.
This editorial represents the views of the editorial board.