In my drawer upstairs is a Purple Heart 

To the Editor:

This is my response to Mr. Porter.

Thank you for your invitation. I will not be able to attend due to other public-service commitments that day.

I’m not certain if this is an invitation written in good faith, or a “test” of my commitment to veterans and my community. It feels like a demand, not an invitation.

In my drawer upstairs is a Purple Heart earned by a family member killed in combat during World War II.  I recently attended the funeral of a friend who suffered for many years from the injuries he suffered in Vietnam.

Most men in my family served in the armed forces — Army, Navy, Air Force. My brother is buried in a National Cemetery because he, too, served.

I have lived in Berne for 37 years, and during that time I have been an active and faithful steward of our community, working with organizations, on committees, and within our government to the benefit of our residents. I feel honored to have served.

So you see, I was taken aback when I read your demand that I attend a seminar to prove I am an “informed and caring public official.” I believe I prove that every day in the many hours I devote to my community, and in the love I’ve shared with my friends, family, and neighbors, including the veterans among them.

I am sure the seminar will be excellent, and it’s good to know Stratton is working to further understanding of veterans. I’m sorry, though. I will not be able to attend.

Karen Schimmer


Editor’s note: Karen Schimmer is a Democratic councilwoman on the Berne Town Board.

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