To the editor:

As a Danvers resident for more than seven years I have never seen this town this divided with recent issues. I have sat and pondered recent events lately. One in particular the issue of the “Thin Blue Line” flag. At first when I heard the news it was removed from the town’s fire truck, I was annoyed at the lack of leadership and process the town took to remove it more than anything else. But after taking some time and digesting all the comments and reactions about it, it became a little more personal to me. The flag means different things to different people. For me it means respect and honor of our first responders who risk their lives on a daily basis to keep us safe. I don’t see it as a sign of racism or supporting police brutality because frankly it doesn’t happen here, it’s not an issue, we’re making an issue where one doesn’t exist and we’re better than that.

I grew up with a family member who was a police officer and was Black. I also had family that were in the service. You never knew if they walked out the door if they would come back that same day. Sure, has the flag been used in hate speech and other groups, but so has the American flag and honestly what doesn’t get used in hate speech these days? Just because someone supports and raises a Thin Blue Flag in honor of our first responders doesn’t mean they are for racism or for police brutality — it’s the complete opposite. There are always going to be a few bad people in every group but that’s not the majority.

When did we become a culture that if one or two people have an issue with something it becomes the majority? We here in Danvers are better than that. We should be using this opportunity to bring the minority groups together and learn from one another and support each other. Our first responders are a minority group by definition so we should be treating and respecting them just as we should be respecting and treating every minority group, and our neighbors with respect and equality no matter what the color of their skin is. Danvers should look to be the model that all other towns and cities should strive to be.

Jon Mattarocchia

Danvers

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