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Opinions from past provide perspective

Looking Back reviews opinions published in The Spokesman-Review during this week in history.

Flag Day, June 14, 1954

An S-R editorial called on the community to honor the Stars and Stripes.

“Every American has an extra birthday today. It is Flag Day, and every flagstaff should hold aloft its banner proclaiming the glory of the Stars and Stripes and the country whose emblem It is. This is the anniversary of the birth of the flag, as important to every citizen as the anniversary of his or her own birth.”

It went on to say: “Old Glory’s real meanings are intangible. It represents the courage that protected with “lives, fortunes and sacred honor” the liberties for which the republic stands, protected them at Yorktown, at Gettysburg, at Manila, at Chateau Thierry, at Iwo Jima and in the Korean mountains. It represents to many now living, the cause that took a dear one from the family circle.

“It represents the message of hope and assistance that it carries to oppressed people of strange tongues in many strange lands. It represents our present defiance of tyrannies that would strangle every nation on earth if the Stars and Stripes did not stand in the way of the aggressor. It represents our own dream that some day it may wave idly in breezes that kiss a land of utter peace, prosperity and contentment.”

Pentagon Papers, June 16, 1971

An S-R editorial discussed the Pentagon Papers, which were being published in the New York Times.

“The record now being divulged, it should be noted, was compiled at the direction of the secretary of defense. From the standpoint of McNamara and the other leading figures of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, it is understandable that the record was given the high classification of secrecy that it got. Whether it deserved that classification is another question. From the standpoint of not revealing bad judgment and creating political embarrassment, yes. From the standpoint of overall effect on the American people, probably no.”

It concluded: “The questions raised by what is happening now are these: How much is the American public entitled to know about the actions of its executive department and how far can the executive department go in punishing those who disregard its wishes in preserving its secrets?”

A good dad, June 15, 2002

A Father’s Day S-R editorial by community contributor Michaél Alegria offered dads some advice.

“An involved father need not be the knight in shining armor who protects and shields his daughters, and sons, from life’s hard knocks. The multifaceted job of a being a father first and foremost requires commitment, attention and dedication.

“So what should dads do? Be there. And be involved. Situations such as divorce, separation and the distance this can put between fathers and their children may make this a daunting task. It can be done. It is important for Dad to be more than just a face at the dinner table or the prime disciplinarian. The smallest opportunity may seem insignificant but chaperoning a field trip, attending school functions and staying involved and informed at school is an invaluable investment of your time.”

Top stories in Opinion

Editorial: Washington state lawmakers scramble to keep public in the dark

State lawmakers want to create a legislative loophole in Washington’s Public Records Act. While it’s nice to see Democrats and Republicans working together for once, it’s just too bad that their agreement is that the public is the enemy. As The Spokesman-Review’s Olympia reporter Jim Camden explained Feb. 22, lawmakers could vote on a bill today responding to a court order that the people of Washington are entitled to review legislative records.