To the editor:

I found Ray Gilmore’s column in Saturday’s Sun well written. Thank you.

His chronicle of events and the manipulation of people’s anger and fear that he cited reinforce the vulgar marketing of our national symbol. It all seems so cheap, so shabby.

The marketing aspect is particularly insidious. This is America, Land of the Free! You can be anyone you want to be, you can sign up with your friends, sign on with a demagogue. Fire up the barbecue and turn on the game. The team paraphernalia is a click away. Free shipping included.

I remember President Bush’s marching orders to the American people, "Go Shopping … Visit Disney World."

We would learn to pay no attention to those people rotating in and out of Iraq and Afghanistan. They're well paid to the dirty work.

An opportunity was lost. We were united, we had the support of the world. We drove the Taliban out, we got Bin Laden. Mission accomplished. We could have stopped there. We didn’t.

I believe that somehow it didn’t fit our definition of winning. The down side of that strategy is that we stayed too long at the party. Figuratively we were “having too much fun.” Don’t forget, there’s plenty of good money to be made and really is there anything more fun than making money?  What’s more I need a new boat.

Seriously folks. “We The People” need to redefine what it means to be an American, what it means to be a winner and how to handle being a loser.

It happens to the best of us. Would you agree?

Peter O'Brien

Fryeburg, Maine

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