To the Editor:

I witnessed the most deplorable action at New Milford's Memorial Day parade this year.

I am a lifelong resident and have never witnessed such disrespect for our veterans, and I must speak out.

A candidate running for political office, Gale Alexander, was collecting signatures for his campaign for state representative and campaigning, including during the laying of memorial wreaths.

The laying of the wreaths is a field of honor for our fallen military. It is not the time or place for politics.

What type of example does this set for our youth in today's society? It is our job to lead by example so our military is given the respect it deserves.

In full disclosure, I am a registered Republican and friends with state Rep. Cecilia Buck-Taylor, who is his opponent.

I am also the daughter of a Navy veteran and wife of a retired commander who served this country for 41 years.

I believe on Memorial Day there is no place for politics. I do not care what party you represent. It is just wrong.

Memorial Day is a day we honor those who have given their lives for our country. It is meant to be a solemn ceremony. It is a day to remember so many who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom.

Is it too much to ask that politicians do not use it as a day to collect signatures?

What is next -- going to our local funeral home because there is a large crowd there?

George Washington once said, "Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism."

I certainly hope any politician who reads this letter, regardless of political affiliation, will stop and think before ever doing something like this.

Patricia Erickson

New Milford