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Recent newspaper stories and editorials about Sinead O'Connor's refusal to have our national anthem played before her concert have caused me to think anew about ``patriotism' and protestation. To me, O'Connor's stand seems to exemplify the peace movement protests of the last 30 years. To a person who instinctively loves his country, these arguments have always rankled.

It is the apparent ingratitude to the country that hurts. I feel similarly about people who treat their parents with contempt. In my view we owe at least some respect to the form of government that has enabled us to be free and prosperous. To desecrate our symbols has always indicated to me an utter disdain for who and what we are.However, for some citizens, peaceful protests such as refusing to recite the Pledge of Allegiance or refusing to stand for the national anthem, are a way of honorably disagreeing with government policies. Not, as I had always assumed, an expression of churlish ingratitude, but rather an almost patriotic attempt to encourage our people and leaders to remain vigilant to the dangers of governmental abuse.

The bottom line is that people of good faith on both sides of an argument can have valid points of view. Jerry D. Ramsey Greensboro

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