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Veteran won’t bow to political correctness after being ordered to remove ‘Christmas’ from kids’ tree lighting event

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A New Hampshire veteran believes school officials are taking political correctness too far.

Commander of the American Legion in Marlborough, John Fletcher said he was asked by the school superintendent to revise a flyer promoting an annual tree lighting event, by removing the word “Christmas.”

“He wanted me to change it to say ‘holiday tree lighting’ instead,” Fletcher told FOX25. “It’s not a holiday tree, it’s a Christmas tree. If you want a holiday tree, then do it for Valentine’s Day, or Columbus Day, or whatever you want.”

Fletcher, who dresses as Santa Claus along with his wife as Mrs. Claus, raises money to buy gifts for the children who attend the annual event, a town tradition, which is advertised by distributing the flyers to students.

An Air Force veteran, Fletcher was offended by the request and took to writing a letter to the editor in the Sentinel Source. “I start this letter with I’m offended,” he wrote. “Today it seems that it is all right to offend the majority to protect the minority.”

With a son who was stationed in Germany and a grandson who just graduated from the Army Reserve, Fletcher told Fox his family is dedicated to Americans’ right to free speech.

“As commander of the American Legion it offends me,” his letter continued. “On Veterans Day, I spoke of the freedoms we have and the veterans who have not only served their country but have given their lives for what we have today: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. These are solid foundation stones upon which a great nation is built. It seems to me that our new superintendent, Rob Malay, doesn’t understand this. I can’t believe the SAU board approved this.”

The tree lighting, planned for Sunday, will go forward according to Fletcher who says he looks forward to playing Santa and giving out gifts. And as for the flyer, though the offending word “Christmas” was blotted out, Fletcher refused to rewrite anything.

“In this case, this political correctness has just gone too far. It’s just getting out of hand,” said Fletcher.

“I respect all rights; always have. But, do not take away our rights because you may offend someone else.”


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