Thank you for the detailed article “Local firefighter recalls personal NYC effort.” That article reinforced my confidence that I spent four great years living in Berkeley to attend the finest university in the world, and your article gave me hope for Berkeley during these times of uncertainty.
Still, I have disagreements with the city manager’s decision to ban large American flags on Berkeley fire trucks, and I also disagree with the City Council’s 5-4 vote calling for an end to bombings of Afghanistan. Yes, I do know that smaller American Flags are allowed on Berkeley Fire Trucks (I spoke to someone at the city manager’s office via telephone and I did read the media’s over-blown story with skepticism). In addition, I know that flag waving war supporters were in equal number to the anti-war protesters in the city hall meetings. In addition, I know that the mayor said that the phone calls of war proponents out number the phone calls of war opponents 2-1.
Finally, I deplore the death threats to the anti-war Berkeley politicians (i.e. Rep. Barbara Lee), and I also deplore the flag vandalism which has occurred. In my views, the perpetrators of the death threats and instigators of the flag vandalism are under the same category as each other.
Nevertheless, we must be united during these times of crises. We must take note to the words of President Abraham Lincoln and the bible, “A House Divided Cannot Stand.”
My years of living in Berkeley from 1989-1993 has shaped my intellect and life in positive ways. Things are different living in this Conservative Navy Town in which I grew up, San Diego. Nevertheless, despite our differences (I am a proud Republican), I believe we can find common ground and unity amidst the diversity of thoughts and opinions in the greatest country of the world, the United States. The Daily Planets’s article on the local firefighter really moved me, and the article/the firefighter’s recollection has given me hope for Berkeley, hope for the United States, and hope for these times of chaos and uncertainty.
I know that our diverse views and opinions will continue to find common ground and unity(despite how difficult of a struggle that would be). Our ability to find common ground and unity will “allow our house to remain undivided and allow our house to stand.”
Therefore, “our house will not be divided and our house will not fail to stand.”
Gamaliel “Gamie” Gamboa