DEAR MR. MAYOR:

I want to thank you, the Council Members and City Manager for your hard work on Making Marietta Better! As a longtime resident of Ward 5, and previous business owner, now retired, I’ve seen a lot of growth and renewed energy in Marietta. You’ve done well in leading us out of the pandemic and opening after the lock down.

That being said, I would like to make a suggestion that you rethink your position on honoring the 4th of July holiday. In my humble opinion, as a septuagenarian and Vietnam combat veteran, it was very sad that the recognition of Memorial Day was lost to an invisible enemy. You could not stand within 6 ft. of each other in the National Cemetery. No parade. No flags for the first time. I saw funerals in that cemetery and others that would not allow more than 10 members of the grieving family, who wore masks and stood 6 feet apart unable to comfort their loved ones. Yet, just this week, peaceful protesters were marching on the Marietta Square for a good cause! They stood shoulder to shoulder, some with masks, others without. They did not fear the invisible enemy. They did not comply with “the rules” that somehow do not seem to be necessary, at this point. They had fervor for their convictions, as do I!

The flu season is over and it’s becoming clear that cases of the coronavirus are waning as we find ourselves going into the summer months. In my humble opinion, I believe we need a shot in the arm, so to speak — another form of vaccination that would bring our citizens together to celebrate and energize that Marietta spirit with a time-honored tradition ... the birth of our nation! Like only a parade will do. So I am saying: It’s time: Bring back the parade! Bring back patriotism, bring back unity! We should allow all of our citizens to show their convictions and patriotism.

While I think the idea of a photo contest is “cute,” it should not and could not replace the incredible feeling of gratitude and patriotism for this great country! Why not do both! We need an old-fashioned parade — like the ones that make Marietta great each year! It will help all of the small businesses around the Square who have been so unjustly affected, while Walmart, Costco, Sam’s, and other large stores were not. They need help and the community needs to pull together! The revenue that will be generated will help everyone.

I hope that you will take this in a very positive light, and ask that you reconsider your decision, while there is time to get our famous Marietta parade rolling again!

Rick Kuhns

Marietta

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