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Letter to the Editor: I won’t be anonymous

I am writing in response to the “anonymous” Eastern Plumas County “she” resident who said that “What happened yesterday at our capitol was sickening and unpatriotic and Jeff is displaying that symbol.” ….”No fraud. Fair election.”

I am also a “she” Eastern Plumas County resident but I don’t have to be “anonymous”. I am not afraid. My family has served our great country so that we can continue to be a free republic. My dad served in the US Marine Corps in World War II as a Marine aviation gunner (very vulnerable location). My uncle served and endured in the US Marine Corps in the cold of the Korean War. I served in the US Marine Corps during the Vietnam War and lost friends to that struggle. I won an American Legion Americanism Award when I was in grammar school and was so proud of my essay. I was so proud of my daddy’s service …. and back then we were taught about our country’s freedoms and the challenges to it. It was okay to be proud of the United States of America then. We were allowed to sing patriotic songs and pledge our allegiance to this great country. In fact we were allowed to say prayers in our schools too. Woefully you probably never experienced that or did not understand it if you did.

Life was “not easy” when I was a child but I did not know that. I was not raised to think like that…to expect that you were supposed to have things if you did not earn them. I learned to share what I had with my siblings because that was the example my parents showed and taught us. When we lived where we did not have”running water”, we hauled water from a creek. We kept ourselves clean and our house clean too. The five of us girls shared a bedroom and the two beds in it. My hardworking parents gave food baskets and clothing to other families who had less than us, so we saw charity in action. Our clothes were “handed down”to our young sisters. My mother sew us clothes too. We did not have much but we made the “best of it” because we weren’t taught that we were lacking or owed more. We grew and canned our own fruits and vegetables so we had food in the winter. My parents did not have a car until I was a teenager, so we walked everywhere regardless of weather (good exercise). On Sundays, we sometimes took family outings to the local park. I remember Sunday meals as special because we had fried chicken. There were seven of us who shared this one chicken (my parents, and my four sisters and I). My dad worked very hard in a stove foundry so he got the breast; each one of us girls got either the drumstick or a thigh or the wings (we rotated each Sunday who got what); my mom got the back and neck because she loved her girls.  We loved this time together and always said the blessing before eating. We knew others had less and we were grateful for what we had. We did not know that we were members of a “privileged group because our skin was white.” My dad worked along side of a black man and always waved and talked to him, as they both, walked to their homes after work. We were not taught that we were better than anyone or anyone was less than us. We believed that everyone was the same because God said He made “man” in His image. We, girls, knew that “man” in that context meant “humans.” We did not think it was derogatory to be stated that way. We did not say swear words because we were taught that there were a lot of words in our vocabulary to describe something without being limited to a few shallow offensive words.

We were also not taught that as a “girl” that less was expected of us than of anyone else. We were not limited in what we could be or do because of our biology, so I grew up free to imagine my future. My parents raised us up to be responsible people…which included being responsible for our actions. We knew about respecting others regardless of their color, wealth, and beliefs or lack there of. We were taught manners and to honor others. I love God and our country and my family. I believe that we all have been blessed by God that live in the freedom of this country and we can make whatever we chose to of ourselves. I chose to serve my country and to spend my life being a good steward of this country protecting people, animals, and the land and waters of this country. I worked hard to achieve my objectives and I loved the challenges I faced and conquered. I wasn’t raised to be a “whiner”.  I was a trailblazer for my sisters and those who would chose to follow in my footsteps regardless of who or what they were. Trailblazing can be painful at times but I moved forward and so did others because we knew we were free to attempt to show that we could meet the challenges…and we did so without being differed to or given special favors. I served over twenty five years working in different types of law enforcement throughout California, because I care about people and the land we have been blessed to live in. I ended up in Plumas County thirty years ago and stayed here because it reminded me of where I grew up back East and my son followed me up here. I have bit my lips in keeping silent over all these years listening to and reading all the comments people have made in the media including in your sweet little mountain paper. I am thankful that your paper continues to struggle to survive in face of the virus and wildfire challenges…I appreciate that strength! I also appreciate the opportunity you are providing me. My heart is so broken about my beloved country and the freedoms I have hoped for my grandson to experience as he grows up. I can no longer hold my tongue.

Now having said all that above, this brings me to my decision to write this response to the unidentified “she”: I believe it is unimportant whether it was Mr. Engel or his wife who chose to have the “TRUMP/WON” sign on their property anymore that if it had been someone with a “BIDEN/WON” on their property. They have the “hard fought for right “to display that sign…and they were brave enough to stand by what they believe in,  even knowing that there are lawless people terrorizing citizens of this country right now for expressing support of our current President Trump. Our freedom makes this “the land of the free and the home of the brave” which is part of the greatness of our country. The lack of freedom to display that sign is a real danger! It is easy to cast mud at someone when you can hiding your own name; it is like an anonymous neighbor turning you in to the Red Guard or Nazi. How can you say anything about being something being “unpatriotic’ when you would curtail someone else’s very freedom of speech? You are in fact demonstrating a lack of patriotism in your statement! I believe that what is “sickening” about what happened at the Capitol is that the pre-meditated violence that took place and the ensuing chaos corrupted a peaceful protest of the election process and the current President’s choice to continue his protest of how the election process was conducted and the outcome. The media, media platforms, and various others have chosen to use that violence as a means to thwart the voice of freedom that was being expressed by a large number of citizens of this country yesterday and of their duly elected President who remains so for at least around three more weeks. Additionally, the violence may well be found to have been instigated by those who seek to thwart the very freedoms this country was founded on. Until the true facts of what happened yesterday and who were the perpetrators of the violence are determined to be. I believe it is biased and divisive to  make assumptions. The fairness of the process of this election has been questioned by a lot of citizens of this country and the real answers have yet to be determined since the reviews of the evidence have not been completed by any court or the congress yet. To call it “insane and dangerous” to display a sign, in and of itself, appears to be an effort to create fear and to color the exercise of the freedom of speech as something we should be curtailing. Did you say this during the summer when the BLM and other protests were corrupted by: lawlessness; violence in cities, including maimings and murders; and looting involving destruction of businesses and private properties?

We are a free republic and not a communist country. I know people who have come from Venezuela to this country that are afraid and say we need to protect our freedoms and not become a socialist country. Actually, I personally know people from a lot of different countries and cultures that have come here to become citizens. They do not want handouts, nor for  socialism to take over our Republic. They relish the chance to work hard, start their own businesses, and further their education, and raise their families here. They know it is precious to have this much freedom. We need to stay free and to guard our freedoms, including in our election process. Part of being free means being willing to follow through with a thorough lawful review of all the facts presented by witnesses and documents and computer records to determine the truths…and then to improve our election process so that people can trust it, regardless of which party in politics you prefer. We need to properly verify that the votes that are recorded are from real people that have been identified as lawful voters. I know from my law enforcement experience that computer records can be corrupted and paperwork manipulated. Requiring a person to have their identification verified really helps to reduce opportunities for fraud, whether when voting or cashing a check. We, also,  need to respect others not hate others just because they don’t think like we do or like we want them to. We need to get on with our own lives and quit trying to force others into a mold we want them in!

In closing, I truly hope that Mr.Engel and his wife make their own decisions about the sign and not take it down because they are worried about shallow thinking people, like your words appear to portray, trying to influence others to rally against them. If you are so sure that Biden ‘s election was a “fair” election then what making you so fearful that you must make such shrill shrieking comments against someone who displays a “tongue in cheek” kind of humor or gentle statement of their belief by adding a simple word “WON” to a Trump sign? If either Engel was to be running for election for something right now, I would support them because they are demonstrating that they are brave and honest to God people that have and do make this country great regardless of
what else they may or may not be. We need more people who are honest and true! It is not okay for people in our own country and our own county to feel like they have to remove their sign or hide their beliefs from their neighbors because they may be punished for not conforming to the political correct way of thinking or believing. I am a God fearing & loving Christian so is the cross or Christ’s name going to be your next target of a tirade? Do you want me to go to church in hiding next, like in some countries? What ‘s next on your list…Ms. Nameless one?

Mona Lisa Cole

Eastern Plumas County

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