At the Portland Symphony Orchestra’s Portland Pops concert this Fourth of July, there was a section of music for superheroes, with music from the “Star Wars” and “Avengers” movies and the traditional salute to the armed forces.

During the military salute, veterans were invited to stand and be recognized, and they were greeted by polite applause. Soon afterward, it was announced that more heroes were seated behind us – the asylum seekers from Africa. Well, the cheers and standing ovation that ensued left my husband and myself stunned.

The crowd made it clear that this group was much more important and welcomed than the veterans who had just stood.

I don’t think that most of the public realizes the years of sacrifice and hardship made by military members. The difference in greeting the two groups was very unsettling.

Cathy Turpin


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