Both sides should respect free speech

To the editor:

I am a citizen of Dale and I am currently involved with a growing group of people opposed to the proposed coal to diesel plant in Dale. I have been proud of the many people who have given their support in Dale and the surrounding communities and I have been proud of how we have been able to go door-to-door expressing our concerns about the health of this region. The many people we have spoken to in Dale, Ferdinand, Santa Claus, Mariah Hill and St. Meinrad have opened their doors to us as we have canvassed the area. Even some who are for the plant have opened their doors and listened and respected our opinions. I have embraced the fact that in our small communities neighbors can still be neighbors and friends can still be friends. 

Unfortunately, this past week many of our signs (personal property) were stolen from our yards. A large group of people from Dale, Santa Claus, Mariah Hill, St. Meinrad and Ferdinand have spent hours and their own money to talk to people and ask if we can put signs in their yards. We do not charge for these signs. They are a sign of support and I am sure this is what spurred on the thieves. If the thieves thought their stealing of personal property would discourage us, they are very wrong. They have only emboldened us to continue our message and the support is growing.

We respect everyone’s opinion on this subject and we respect your freedom of speech whether it be by voice or by displaying of signs. We all have the same rights.

As Dale approaches its 175th birthday celebration, I know the respect of many neighbors and friends will far outweigh the actions of a few.

—Mary V Hess

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