By Onan Coca – BarbWire guest contributor
Dario Raschio is a hero. He is a man who served his nation with bravery some 70+ years ago, and he’s waited a very long time to be recognized for that bravery. On Saturday, the 100-year old man was being honored at an event put together by the office of Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR).
Before the event Mr. Raschio told local news affiliates that, “I feel I’m no hero. I don’t accept it as being a hero. I accept it as being a part of my job.”
He was being awarded with a handful of important service medals at the opening scene at a Wyden town hall event… until a group of about 100 protesters burst into the room shouting “hands up, don’t shoot!”
It took the voice of a hero to make the protesters realize that they had chosen the wrong moment to begin their disruption, “Give me a chance. At least let us show a little respect for this occasion,” Raschio pleaded with the protesters before they finally quieted down.
Oregon Live was on the scene and watched both the medal ceremony and the protesters who took over soon after.
Raschio’s smile returned as Wyden presented him with a frame filled with medals. He was awarded the U.S. Naval Aviator Badge, the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory medal, the American Defense Service Medal, the “Ruptured Duck” award and the U.S. Navy Honorable discharge pin.
He was also given a flag flown over the U.S Capitol…
He accepted the medals on behalf of those who died in WWII and ended his short speech by saying, “God bless America. And you people that are here for a cause, whatever it might be—show respect to Sen. Wyden.”
Wyden took back the mic, and followed up, “One of the reasons that we can come here today and be heard and express our views is because of veterans like Dario.”
But before Raschio could even sit down the unrest resumed.
I know many of you get angry at the reasons for (and the way) that many people protest in America today. But I would hasten to remind you that protesting is an important part of a free society, and it is an important part of our American society. You know where people can’t protest freely? Cuba, North Korea, Russia, China…
We might not agree with a protest like this one… but it’s just more evidence that our nation still values freedom.
However, and there is a big however here…
This town hall event was scheduled to last longer than just the medal ceremony. It would have been much more polite and effective for the protesters to have waited for Mr. Raschio to be honored before beginning their protest actions. In fact, it may have won these protesters points with the crowd to have done so. An event like a medal ceremony or the honoring of a person’s work is never the time to protest an unrelated grievance.
Onan is a graduate of Liberty University (2003) and earned his M.Ed. at Western Governors University in 2012. Onan lives in the Atlanta area with his wife, Leah. They have three children and enjoy the hectic pace of life in a young family. Onan and Leah are members of the Journey Church in Hiram, GA. He is also the chief editor at EagleRising.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.