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Unpatriotic youth today? Really? In Idaho?

My letter to the Mayor of Eagle, Idaho:


Dear Mr. Mayor,

I am sincerely disturbed to learn that not a single day after being elected as the Mayor of the City of Eagle, you have already expressed publicly your ignorance of the community whom you serve.

I am deeply saddened that you publicly regard our youth as unpatriotic.  Perhaps it would be wise to spend a few days this week at the schools in the City of Eagle and discover just how uninformed you have been.

While I have experienced just such a lack in other communities where I have lived in the past:  California, Las Vegas, and even Maui, where patriotism is marched out perhaps twice a year to merely pay lip service:  I have found that Idaho schools in general and our schools here in Eagle more specifically, are about as far from that sorry state as it is possible to be.  Perhaps, you mistook the nature of this community with that of one of your former homes elsewhere?

It surprises me greatly that you would take elected office without first gaining an understanding of the most fundamental nature of your own community.  I suppose I should not be altogether shocked though, since the Eagle City Council has so recently seen fit to outspend any other city of its size for the Mayor’s salary smack in the middle of a desperately struggling economy.

But I digress:

I just returned tonight from my daughter’s Veteran’s days school gathering over at Eagle Hills Elementary, where our children presented us with patriotic songs and a tribute to our veterans that brought a tear to my eye.  I am so very proud of the outstanding job our local schools are doing in instilling the great American values as outlined by our forefathers and I challenge you Mr. Mayor,  to find any school more focused on teaching those lessons of honor, service and pride in our American heritage than right here at Eagle Hills Elementary where I have both of my young daughters enrolled.

As moving a tribute as tonight was, my children’s art projects and homework are often riddled throughout the year with patriotic and historical American themes and I am constantly being approached by my children excited about a new discovery they have made at school, asking questions about our History and eager to learn more about America as they grow to appreciate what it means to be an American.   The lessons taught at Eagle Hills Elementary follow them home, and that opens the door for me to teach them even more about what 9 1 1 means to us, how many generations of their own family have served in the military and what it means to fight for what you believe in as well as many other topics as their appetite for growth and knowledge is inspired and fostered at their school.

I challenge you Mr. Mayor, to visit over the next few weeks, each and every Eagle school and learn this lesson for yourself; for our youngest generation is growing by leaps and bounds and the tremendous job being done in our local school system has apparently gone unnoticed in the Eagle City Council.

Mr. Mayor, before you go spouting off again in public and embarrass yourself and your community further, you owe the young people of our community who have not forgotten how to be patriotic or how to appreciate being Americans, a sincere and timely apology.  And while you are at it; be sure to include those who have been tremendous guardians of that encouraging trend, our school teachers and administrators over at Eagle Hills Elementary.


Bob Duker

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