Bill Ellis: Disregarding politics, and honoring dedication – Longmont Times-Call


I never liked Bob Dole, the conservative senator from Kansas, until I read his book, “One Soldier’s Story.” Recently deceased, Dole was easy to spot carrying a pen in his damaged right hand and offering his left to shake hands. For most of my adult life I only saw him through the lens of politics. But then a dear friend sent me his book and that changed everything.
As a regular contributor to the Open Forum, I get some rather nasty replies from readers who most likely adhere to Bob Dole’s politics. They say slanderous things like “You’re a liberal idiot,” or the worst ever, “You’re a commie traitor.” That last one was sent anonymously of course. But I keep writing because the majority of respondents like what I have to say or else I’d have ceased writing years ago.
When I was new to the opinion writing genre, someone wrote to “Johnnie St. Vrain” asking “Who is Bill Ellis?” and “Why is he in the paper so much?” (Johnnie is an anonymous reporter on staff who researches questions from readers about Longmont.) I don’t remember Johnnie’s answer but here is mine: I’m a writer and have a lot of opinions that I want to share. I have lived in Longmont since 2002 and believe in contributing and giving back to the community.
As a longtime volunteer and donor for the Longmont Community Justice Partnership — see —  I firmly believe in restorative justice that gives offenders a second chance, keeping them out of jail. Further, I have a BA in political science and a master’s of public administration. I served four years as an Army officer and completed 25 years of federal service in public administration. I am a registered independent.
Every opinion of mine in this paper is followed by my email address. No other local columnist provides this. I welcome all replies and answer each one.
In the past I have criticized Bob Dole’s conservative ideas, but his service to our country is beyond criticism. It is time for everyone to separate politics and personal opinions from their judgments of anyone. After reading Dole’s book I revere his dedication in World War II combat. It is time to think of neighbors as good people and not Democrats or Republicans, meaning someone to dislike for political beliefs.
Bob Dole was dedicated to serve his country and almost gave his life for it. Gravely wounded in battle, he overcame partial paralysis of his left arm and legs, and loss of use of his right arm and hand. Still, he graduated from college with a degree in liberal arts and a law degree. All this after a priest had been called to a medical evacuation center to pronounce last rites that turned out to be unnecessary.
It would be good for all of us to reflect on dedication such as Dole’s, disregarding politics.
That said, I salute Bob Dole for his dedication and service to our country.
Finally, I believe everyone should serve our country in some capacity to become invested in its success.
Reply to Bill Ellis at
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