To whoever ran a Nazi swastika flag up the flagpole at the bandshell at Washington Park: you should be ashamed of yourself.

An educated person would know the history of this country and its principles. They would know about the evils of Nazi Germany and fascism in World War II. They would know that a Nazi flag flies against everything most people in Laramie, Wyoming, and the rest of the country stand for. What kind of knucklehead would fly a swastika flag, especially in a public place?

I also take this personally. I no longer live in Laramie, but I grew up a block away from the bandshell. The bandshell is named after my father, Edgar J. Lewis, Jr., who led the Laramie city band for over 50 years. Ironically, he was also an American soldier in World War II who did his part to help crush the Nazi regime in Germany. He would have been insulted, dumbfounded and appalled that an American citizen could do a thing like this, especially at a place which bears his name. I feel the same way.

Laramie has been a diverse community for a long time. I had a childhood friend who was of Jewish ancestry. His grandfather had escaped religious persecution in Europe and became a successful businessman in Laramie. People like that should be admired and honored, not have their memory besmirched by a symbol of a murderous regime.

I commend the people of Laramie who have rallied against this symbol of genocide, bias and hatred. If this was a prank, it’s not funny. I hope whoever did this will broaden their world view and get whatever help they need to move beyond their warped perspective and poisonous ideology.

Paul Lewis

Montrose, Colorado

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