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Just Sayin’: Treat the American flag with respect

A U.S. flag flutters at the Lafayette Escadrille

A U.S. flag flutters at the Lafayette Escadrille Memorial of Marnes-la-Coquette, east of Paris, on Nov. 11, 2013. Photo Credit: AFP / Getty Images / Thomas Samson

Treading on the flag is disgraceful. The flag’s proper use is spelled out in the United States Flag Code. While some court decisions have authorized the misuse of our flag under the guise of freedom of expression, they have not made its desecration entirely legal. In fact, using the American flag for advertising or publicity purposes is illegal in New York State.

It is also illegal to put a U.S. flag down on a street — that’s littering.

My grandfather served in the Army in the Montana territory in the 1880s. My father served in the Army in World World War I, as did his two brothers. I served in the Naval Reserve in World War II. Treading on the flag is a national disgrace.

Thomas Beirne, Smithtown


Help students try out potential occupations

This year I joined the mock trial team at Stony Brook University, where I am a junior. The only thing I knew about being an attorney, before joining the club, was that I wanted to be one.

I was taking courses that would set me on a track to go to law school for a career I had only read about in textbooks. This club allowed me to use the federal rules of evidence in a mock courtroom setting to construct legal arguments and deliver cross and direct examinations. These are all aspects of being an attorney I wouldn’t have been privy to otherwise.

We should have more of this in today’s classrooms, the chance to say, “Here, you try.” Instead of six hours a day being bombarded by facts, sitting in a desk, and taking notes, our kids need the opportunity to work with what they want to do.

For the kid who wants to be a police officer, let him or her spend a few hours a day at the local precinct. For the kid who wants to be a nurse, let him or her go to the local clinic and interact with patients.

Nicholas J. Maggio, Yaphank


Some disabled clients need resource site

I recently began an internship with Unique People Services, a nonprofit agency, as part of a graduate social work program at Touro College. Working with the developmentally disabled population has been very challenging. The hardest part of my internship at a group home has been finding resources for this population. There are so many different companies that offer services for developmentally disabled individuals.

Sometimes services are available, but the clients might not know which one they need or how to get access to it. I wish there were a single website that could describe all available services, by agency and by location. Clients would greatly benefit.

Nora Sylvestre, Baldwin