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OPINION

Voting is a solemn, patriotic duty

The Star

Voting is a fundamental patriot duty: As a public servant in the Department of Defense and the National Security Intelligence Service for many years, I’ve never missed an opportunity to vote, even when living outside the U.S.—three years in Japan and three years in England. Regardless of who holds the highest office in our grateful nation, it is our duty as American citizens to vote. My duty as a public servant was to serve all the American people to best of my ability, regardless of political party affiliation. It was a duty and obligation that I relished as a free American.

Here are a few reasons why voting is so important to America’s democracy. One, voting is a demonstrated way to engage in civic responsibility that hopefully brings common good to all citizens. Two, voting is a commitment to do right by our country, its citizens, and our children now, as well as those yet to be born. Three, voting involves critical thinking and healthy discourse for a democratic society to flourish. Four, voting is about citizens participating in our democratic society, regardless of the party you’re affiliated. And, five, let’s never forget that “we the people” are our government; we are the ultimate keepers of our government in America’s democracy.

Vote 2020

As we reflect and do a little soul searching since the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 has been a challenging year. In reflecting about the unrest and protests across America for equal rights and strategies to remedy police brutality across the nation, it’s important to support our first responders, including our police, in combating crimes and keeping our citizenry safe. Equally important, each of us has a duty and responsibility to treat each other civil and with respect. Moreover, as leaders and citizens, who want the best for our communities and see our society advance to optimum potential, we should work together to give everyone a fair and equitable chance to live up to their full potential without stumbling blocks.

Our children are our future; let’s leave a proud legacy for them to emulate. Yes, most of us are about “zoomed out” with working with our school-age children in an attempt to keep their academic schedules balanced and on track. Equally important, we have our professional lives, pastime responsibilities and hobbies to keep us psychologically balanced. In this constrained 2020 environment, I believe it’s important to stay connected in positive ways by maintaining a sense of family, friends and community.

As we near the finish line of the upcoming 2020 election, I am reminded that our leaders, particularly those who hold some of the highest offices in the land, must protect America’s great democracy. We all have a responsibility to protect our democracy. I do believe that regardless of religion, national origin, ethnic background, race or ideology, we all want a free, harmonious environment, and peaceful nation where each person can contribute to America’s well-being. Regardless of who you vote for in this upcoming election, VOTE! America’s power and influence are dictated by its citizens. I believe that it’s our solemn duty to advance our democracy by taking an active role in our democratic processes. In fact, it’s our patriotic duty!

I am eternally proud and grateful to be an American. As a public servant for more than 30 years, I’ve worked on behalf of the American people, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, creed or ethnicity. Having worked with the Department of Defense around the world and returning to the states to work for the Office of the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon and the National Security Intelligence Community, just like Lee Greenwood sings in his song, I am proud to be an American. Equally, important, we all should want our children, their children and those children yet to be born to understand that we all have a patriotic duty to vote and keep our democratic way of life in the forefront. Remember, just look around the world, freedom is not always free!

Respectfully submitted,

Lenora Peters Gant, PhD