I was disappointed in your recent column (3/7/05, "Pendleton Shows its True Colors with Patriotic Ribbon Magnets). By mentioning that your visitor's "liberal" friends wouldn't like the magnets, you implied that support of our troops is something that only "conservatives" do.

We all support our troops, and attempts to use these ribbons as a wedge between us is unnecessary and unhelpful in trying to move us toward a more united society.

We seem to be obsessed with defining ourselves with labels, whether it's sporting a logo on our T-shirts, baseball caps or on our cars. You can't judge a book by its cover, and you can't assume people driving cars with ribbons are more patriotic than those who don't.

Support for our troops takes on many forms, helping a family who has a loved one overseas, supporting taxes that would ensure our veterans from all wars receive the adequate health care and counselling they will need for decades to come, supporting our schools so that the next generation will have the tools to make a better life, employing a disabled veteran, among others. I enjoy seeing the magnets, but I hope putting one on the car isn't the only patriotic act that we're committing.

Roberta Lavadour


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