No good deed …

When I asked readers to send me photos of veterans in their families — those who’ve passed on and those who are still with us — for a Sunday Page 1 feature over Memorial Day weekend, I struck a raw nerve in one Medford woman who accused me of “perpetuating misinformation” and printing “a slap in the face to every veteran who reads the Mail Tribune and all the family members who have lost someone.”
“Memorial Day is a somber reminder of those who paid the ultimate price to protect the freedom we have,” she wrote in an email.
Yes, I realize that is the purpose of Memorial Day, I emailed back to her, but the Mail Tribune wants to honor all veterans for this particular feature. I offered to try to break the photos up into categories, so that it would be clear which veterans had given their lives in service.
“Seems like you are just interested in exploiting veterans to make it seem like the Mail Tribune cares,” she fired back. A few hours later, she was still fuming, ending another email tirade with, “You’re truly sick in the head.”
I haven’t responded to her latest emails. I have a feeling it wouldn’t matter what I said, Memorial Day is truly special to her, and in her mind the Mail Tribune is somehow besmirching the holiday’s good name.
I ran this possibility by a couple of people at the Mail Tribune. They couldn’t see why honoring all veterans would be a bad thing. And by the response I’ve gotten so far, from families with veterans both passed on and still living, other people don’t seem to think it’s a bad thing, either.
I certainly don’t want to take anything away from Memorial Day or those veterans who died in service to their country. We will cover Memorial Day events as we do every year to commemorate those veterans.
I opened this feature up to all veterans in the spirit of inclusiveness.
In my mind, we can’t do enough to honor and thank our veterans, however they served and however they died.

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