The Free Press, Mankato, MN

June 28, 2013

Memorial squad will continue long tradition

The Mankato Free Press

---- — I am commander of the Mankato Area Memorial Squad. We appreciate the recognition given to the memorial squad in The Free Press June 15 and June 22.

We would like to clarify some comments in the latest article.

The Mankato Area Veterans Memorial Squad was organized eight years ago, June 25, 2005. Mankato veterans organizations that are members of the Mankato Area Veterans Memorial Board consist of Post 11 American Legion in Mankato; Post 518 American Legion in North Mankato; Post 950 VFW and VFW Post 9713, both from Mankato; members of the Sons of the American Legion and the Marine Corps League. All agreed to join together and become the Mankato Area Veterans Memorial Squad.

The main purpose of this organization is to provide military honors at veterans’ funerals and memorial services in the greater Mankato area when requested by the families of deceased veterans.

Prior to 2005, going back to the Civil War era and for more than 150 years, veterans organizations in the Mankato area have provided this final honor to the deceased veteran.

Not all veterans organizations were able to provide the number of volunteers or the equipment required to provide this honor in the proper way.

To summarize, military honors have been provided to deceased veterans in the Mankato area for much more than four decades by all the veterans organizations to the best of their ability, sometimes with a full squad, some times not.

Since June 2005, all can be assured, it has been done and will be done in the proper manner, with due respect and honor to deceased veterans, their families and friends.

Phil Hodapp


People can be ruled or governed

I offer my early layman’s opinion on the California Proposition 8 case of Hollingsworth V. Perry wherein the U.S. Supreme Court held they would not decide the California same sex marriage case on its merits.

For some background, the ballot initiative process was created so citizens of a state do not have to rely only on elected representatives to create new laws, repeal existing laws, change the state constitution, or approve a bond measure.

When the voters of a state pass a ballot initiative by majority vote an individual citizen adversely effected can sue the state to have it overturned. The state can either defend, or refuse to defend the ballot initiative.

In Hollingsworth the state refused to defend the law so the proponents of Proposition 8 stepped in to defend. The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 ruling, held individual private citizens do not have legal standing to replace the state and defend a suit when the state will not. The Supreme Court held the intermediate federal court of appeals had no legal force in the case and sent the case back to that court with instructions to dismiss the case.

As a proponent of states rights I agree with the 5-4 majority decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in Hollingsorth. But I think this ruling should be a warning to state voters in coming elections. Regardless of how you might feel about a specific case, the way I see it the critical question is: Do we want to elect people unwilling to defend laws passed by the majority of the governed, or elect people who will defend laws passed by the majority of the governed i.e. do we prefer to be ruled or governed?

Bob Jentges

North Mankato