Remember the torch?

To the Editor:

With the recent Olympics in England, we saw a goodly display of the Olympic torch being maneuvered around the country via a torch-carrying runner. The dashing around with the torch made me wonder how many readers remember when the Freedom Torch was carried through our country by a multitude of runners.

In 1976, the Freedom Torch runners set foot in every state in the union, running nonstop, 24/7, with their presentation of what our country was all about. I remember it well, because I was fortunate enough to have been one of the runners who carried it.

The Freedom Torch came through Oregon on Highway 395, running from south to north. The torch was placed in my hand at the city limits of Canyon City, and I ran through to the west city limits of John Day, at the Hudspeth Mill corner.

I have a picture that was taken in stride that caught me in the air with both feet off the ground, and the Freedom Torch held high with my right hand. It was a proud moment, as was all of the scenario. It was sort of symbolic of the times, for times were good then. Anyone who wanted to work had a job. Our schools were humming, and the economy was robust. People could put food on the table, and enjoy living. They didn’t have to rely on the government for handouts. The country was flying at a good pace.

We weren’t strangled with ridiculous environmental rules and regulations that put a stop to the freedom that we need to manage and advance the economic needs of our country. We are being strangled by constant bureaucratic squabbling and fighting among our supposed leaders in trying to feather their own nest or the nest of their political party. What happened to the peoples’ Freedom Torch that made us so proud back then, and the principles of such?

Well, the last time I saw it, I handed it off to one of the tour runners at the west city limits of John Day, and it moved on around the mill corner, headed for Mt. Vernon, and out of sight. Is that what happened or does it just seem that way? Out of sight, I mean. It sure seems that way, doesn’t it.

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