2012-06-07 / Letters

Rodney King talk was out of line

My family and I attended the Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Memorial Park Memorial Day Service.

What a beautiful event recognizing the men and women who lost their lives for us. It was patriotism at its best.

With heavy hearts, pride on our shoulders, and tears rolling down our faces, we recognized every facet of the military, and it felt right and good.

Highlights of the event included a C- 17 flyover from March Air Force Base, a band concert of the Air National Guards, three different choirs of the Conejo Valley, the Marine Color Guards, Port Hueneme Marines, a lieutenant colonel’s speech, and the list goes on.

However, there was one retired colonel of the U.S. Army that changed the mood of the event. Rabbi Shimon Paskow was invited to give the invocation. The beginning of his prayer was quite lovely, as it focused on a nation of peace and unity.

He made a poor decision in ending his prayer with this: stating Rodney King’s name and reading his most famous eloquent quote, “Why can’t we all just get along.” We were in shock!

He couldn’t end his prayer with an inspirational quote from any of our past great leaders of our nation? How about Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, or Ronald Reagan, just to name a few? Instead, he chose a man who was high on PCP, beat his wife and whose verdict led to rioting in our streets.

Is this really what he wanted to say to the widows sitting there whose losses still run deep? This was astonishing and so very inappropriate at a memorial service of the most honored people of our nation.

I am tired of the political correctness and the watering down of what our nation stands on. Silly me for thinking I wouldn’t get any of that nonsense at an event such as this.

I am not discounting the rabbi’s service to our country— we are grateful. I must admit, however, I tried hard not to let his thoughtless words ruin the rest of the my patriotic mood—let’s just say I was unsuccessful.

Gina Conti

Westlake Village

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