“Have a little pride!”
That was an expression my 8th grade U.S. History teacher used to implore upon my fellow classmates and I in 1980.
Joe Moore was a World War II veteran and one of the most patriotic Americans I have ever known. He challenged each of us to push ourselves beyond what we believed we were capable. He loved our country and he shared that passion with us. We said the Pledge of Allegiance every day and we sang the National Anthem regularly in class. He was tough, but he cared about us and he cared about the future of America.
Mr. Moore fought for our freedoms and never wanted us to ever take those freedoms for granted. I and every other student at Seneca East who had Mr. Moore were lucky to have known him. I have to wonder what he is thinking now as he looks down from heaven and sees the unrest in his beloved United States of America.
Every American has a right to peacefully protest. Mr. Moore fought to preserve the First Amendment for all Americans. What he didn’t fight for was lawlessness and destruction in our society. Whether you like it or not, history cannot and should not ever be erased. People like Christopher Columbus, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson and Ulysses S. Grant all had a major significant impact on the country that we are today. Their contributions are undeniable.
Tearing down statues of individuals you don’t respect or destroying the Statehouse accomplishes nothing other than angering those who disagree with you. The vandalism has to stop now. Governor DeWine and Ohio’s mayors need to be more assertive in stopping the violence.
The only constructive way forward is to have peaceful dialogue. It’s time for that to begin now. It’s time for conversation not destruction and for all Americans to have pride again in their country!
Thank you for caring Mr. Moore!
Craig Riedel, of Defiance, is the state representative for the 82nd District of the Ohio House of Representatives. He is a Republican. The district consists Defiance, Paulding and Van Wert counties as well as a portion of Auglaize County. Reach him by phone at 614-644-5091 or write to him at 7 S. High Street, 11th Floor, Columbus, OH 43215. Email: ohiohouse.gov/craig-s-riedel