For over 14 years, the Freeport Flag Ladies have occupied a local street corner for one hour, one day a week, about 744 hours in total.

The flag ladies have been joined by members of the community, military and political figures. They raise money, participate in military benefit events and promote their good works in the media, earning them accolades. One has to admire their carefully crafted image.

This fall I read about the interactions between James Roux III and the flag ladies. In every article Jamie and his mother, Liza Moore, were negatively identified, in fact, vilified. The flag ladies, claiming the status of victims, were described using positive and emotional terms and images.

The spin worked in the court of public opinion. Fortunately for all of us, that isn’t the only court in the land.

I stepped back and thought about Jamie and his great loss on the first “Sept. 11.” He was a child and was affected in unimaginable ways.

Now, 14 years and four months later, he’s lived with his grief for roughly 5,230 days. He’s had time to contemplate the meaning of freedom, liberty, the military and constitutional values. He is a pacifist who articulated his views in a Press Herald column that was heartfelt, thoughtful and compelling.

It’s easy to label someone as a hero or as a villain, but harder to seek the truth. However, in a court of law, that’s not how it is done.

Judges act without prejudice, bias or emotion. They focus on the law and make a decision based on the facts. On Monday, Judge Beth Dobson determined that there was no need for the order of protection sought by the flag ladies against Jamie.

Perhaps reassessment is needed. Is it possible that neither James Roux III nor the flag ladies have been accurately portrayed in the media?

Nancy Simmons

Topsham