To the editor:

I would like to thank the City of Madison for putting on a great 2013 Regatta Festival. I had the opportunity to visit Madison and enjoyed all the events that I attended. I was especially impressed with the spectacular fireworks show that the American Legion and other sponsors presented!

I was born and raised in Madison. My fondest memories include the Regatta and the festivities surrounding it.

I left Madison when I graduated from high school and joined the military. I served during Desert Storm in the Middle East. After resigning from military life I moved to Minnesota and have been there for the past 20 years.

When my family and I arrived in Madison this year, of course I had the roaring of unlimited hydroplanes on the Ohio River on my mind. Even though the race was canceled we had a great time attending the Mayor's movie "Madison," visiting the Lanier Home, listening to live music on the river, attending the parade and viewing the hydroplanes up close. Great Job, Madison!

My biggest disappointment however, was not the fact that the boats did not get to race, it was the lack of respect demonstrated by parade patrons. I was deeply saddened as the American Flag passed, carried by local soldiers, and the parade patrons failed to stand, remove their hats or even applaud our flag! I have never observed such great disrespect for our flag or country.

Maybe people have forgotten why we have the fireworks on the 4th of July; that would explain the lack of respect shown to our national colors.

Perhaps the culture of Madison has become one in which its citizens really don't care? I don't want to believe that. It should be brought to the town's attention that outsiders judge a community based on what they see. I am positive that there were several visitors from out of state in attendance at the parade but I am just as positive that there were many Madison residents at the parade as well. We all must remember that a strong country can only exist if its citizens have pride in their country!

Joseph A. Garvey

Marshall, MN