I’m concerned that not enough people will truly honor our lost warriors by removing the name of a gangster from a public park and replacing it with the name of an honorable man, a true warrior who died in Afghanistan in 2007, killed in action at 26 while fighting the Taliban and sacrificing everything he had to try to save his friends.
Jan Argonish, who played in the park as a child, died trying to save America, too.
Whether the mission was or is good foreign policy doesn’t matter.
What matters is that Argonish and those like him, those who died at war in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere, died trying to help.
I’m worried that fewer and fewer people will now help us we try to take back the park from those who hold it hostage.
Public officials named the “Robert Mellow Park” in the Blakely Borough in Lackawanna County after their crooked benefactor – a former state senator and powerful political warlord, powerful in ways the Taliban are powerful in Afghanistan. This warlord, though, trafficked in corruption rather than heroin. But he is as dangerous as any drug kingpin in poppy country.
Bob Mellow might be even more dangerous.
The Taliban are fighting attempts to bring democracy and freedom to their land. Mellow helped kill democracy and freedom in our land, the land of the free and the home of the brave.
But, truly, how brave are we?
Argonish died fighting for freedom.
For what will we fight?
Mellow dishonored freedom, himself, his community and his country.
For this, borough officials refuse to change the name of the park? For this, officials stand by Mellow rather than standing by the grave of Argonish and company, pledging allegiance to freedom’s fight and the standards by which our nation survives and perseveres?
For this they turn their back on honor.
Yes they do
For weeks now I’ve been blowing the bugle and trying to muster support to take back the park. I have joined members of the Argonish family in their fight to rename the park. I will stand with them and their supporters no matter what happens.
And I will continue to ask for your help.
We need each other to try to persuade people to join us and, if we must, embarrass and shame those who refuse to see the light at the end of the public corruption probe. This ongoing investigation has netted more than 30 corrupt public officials in Northeastern Pennsylvania who mostly pleaded guilty. Juries convicted the handful that went to court.
They, like Mellow, who pleaded guilty and admitted his crimes, now languish in federal prison. Our dead warriors rest in far darker places, in graves from which they will never emerge.
But their spirit is alive and their legacy is strong if we embrace that spiritual legacy of America.
That’s why I again ask you to join this cause, enlist in this mission and pledge your support no matter what happens.
We fight to fight.
And if we lose, we lose.
But those of us who stand for something very special in our community will know that we did our best. Those who shy away, those who are complicit in aiding the enemy, will forever live with that shame.
Please spread the word.
Use social media. Ask high school and college students to get involved. Ask the church. Ask bikers. Ask cops and firefighters. Ask teachers and the unemployed. Ask everybody.
Twitter and Facebook must be better utilized.The VFW and American Legion must get involved on a state and national level. Send letters to elected officials. Ask them for their help. New Congressman Matt Cartwright has refused to help us. In the future we will refuse to help him. Maybe he’ll change his mind.
This mission matters more than you might understand.
If we fail, the future of your community might very well be at stake.
Who would you rather emulate - Argonish, an honorable man who went down fighting, or Mellow, who slithered into a prison cell and, unless we stop him, will likely return one day to bask in the sunshine in the public park that bears his name?