While growing up in rural Illinois, my brothers and I knew that when our dad, a naturalized citizen from Hungary, put on his brown suit, white shirt, tie, brown shoes and matching fedora, he was going somewhere important. Dad was a blue-collar worker at the local Medusa Cement Plant.
Once, when we asked where he was going, he said: “To the polls to vote for Mr. Herbert Hoover for president.” To him, casting a ballot was a sacred privilege and on the same scale as going to church on Sunday. Proper dress was expected when participating in such an important event.
As we reached voting age, we followed his example and accompanied him. Dad was proud of his sons when, in the uniform of the U.S. Army, they voted alongside him. He made us realize that something as simple as a vote could affect the destiny of our country and our lives, too.
Both my dad and brothers are long gone, but I value the lesson that I grew up with. Not only is voting the patriotic thing to do, but it is my birth-right. My brothers fought in World War II to guarantee this constitutional right. Therefore, it is incumbent upon me to carry on this tradition.
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Today, voting is simple: With the stroke of a pen and in my own comfort zone, dressed in tattered blue jeans, I will cast my ballot and drop it into the mail long before the Nov. 8 deadline. It matters not what I wear, my color, ancestry or religion, I will vote my conscience and best judgment. I know that my vote carries the same weight as that of the wealthiest folk on the next block. I pray that the new president will guard this freedom.
Liz Pribble, Tacoma