One of our current Executive Council members from Nashua, Deborah Pignatelli, thinks she is so special that she has somehow earned the right to change the words to the Pledge of Allegiance. Really – it happened at the recent New Hampshire Executive Council Memorial Day meeting when she was asked to lead the Pledge of Allegiance. To make matters worse, this was just before the weekend our nation celebrates those who served the finest, albeit imperfect, experiment in democracy ever envisioned.

Ms. Pignatelli, you are not that special, but you know who is?

LCPL Chas. F. McGrath, USMC, whose patriotism and ultimate sacrifice in combat at Thus Thien, Vietnam, in 1968 influenced at least one young girl to enter the service of her country for a 30-year career. Command Sgt. Jaime Negron, USAF, my father-in-law, also was special. He volunteered for two tours in Vietnam before it was a tourist destination. He was very special to his family, especially when he came home to jeers, but alive. My nephew, Sgt. Alfred Palmieri, USA, clearly thought he was special on one of his multiple deployments when his captain died standing next to him on a bridge in Afghanistan. Every member of our all-volunteer total force (active, Guard and Reserve) are also truly special. They’ve earned that status by their selfless service. You, Ms. Pignatelli, have disrespected that service at a very solemn time of remembrance for the nation and its veterans with your ill-conceived, ill-advised, ill-timed sarcastic commentary. To paraphrase Col. Jessup, I would rather you just said “thank you” and went on your way.