It is an honor to be a citizen of this nation and Sweet Grass County, the place we call home. American men and women have made tremendous sacrifices to make and keep these United States what they are today. Countless citizens have answered the call to keep America free. Most of them were and are young. Hundreds of thousands of them died before their time. That humbles me.
I am responding to Ms. Barbara Van Cleve’s editorial last week in the Big Timber Pioneer about my wife Cindy being too young to be a leader/commissioner. I will not respond to the other predictable babble in Ms. VanCleve’s many letters to the Editor. Ms. VanCleve, like you, my wife and I are past the initial age when our country could have asked us to fight and die for our Constitutional freedoms. We pay state taxes, federal taxes, self-employment taxes, property taxes, and a host of other taxes. We are raising a family in this County. Are we are too young to be leaders in our community? I see leaders from our generation and younger in emergency services, law enforcement, education, mining, ranching, home making, coaching, banking, the military and many other professions, striving to make a difference for a better tomorrow. Are they too young?
Perhaps one day Ms. VanCleve and others will allow us to remove our training wheels so we can learn to be big girls and boys. I am appalled that you think us “youngsters” are unable to lead and work for a better future for OUR tomorrow, especially when many younger than us have made the ultimate sacrifice. God bless those who serve us and God Bless America!
(I know the election will be over by the time this letter is published. It is not intended to sway votes, but to change attitudes. Whoever wins would be well advised to allow the vitality, experience and dedication of youth to be given full value in leadership.)
President John Kennedy, youngest President elected, with Premier Khrushchev. General Eisenhower with young paratroopers from the 101st Airborne Division, June 5, 1944.