I would like to express how disappointed I am, as we all should be, that our governor could not take the time to attend the deployment send-off ceremony for the 488th Maine National Guard on Saturday.

While 122 of Maine’s finest young people were being honored for their upcoming deployment to Afghanistan, Gov. Paul LePage apparently was so busy that he could not spare 30 minutes of his Saturday to attend.

He did send a department secretary to save himself the inconvenience of having to travel to the Civic Center just down the road in Augusta.

Only one elected politician from our state — Chellie Pingree — actually appeared in person.

Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins and Rep. Mike Michaud might be excused for their absences if they were conducting business in Washington. I expect, however, that even less work gets done on a Saturday in D.C. than on the weekdays.

I want to express my appreciation to Pingree for being there to help wish the sons and daughters, husbands and wives a safe and purposeful deployment.

I am sure I am not the only one who appreciated her presence, nor, I hope, am I the only one who is ashamed that other politicians could not exhibit the same integrity and respect.

In the event of a major emergency, we can all safely expect that our National Guard will be there to meet their responsibilities and to help. Just don’t expect to see our governor.

Bruce Pyburn


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