Dear editor: It is odd that that Mr. Ellis Phillips’ appears to favor a public attack on my character and patriotism rather than to make a simple telephone call or drop by my office to make an inquiry regarding my absence at two patriotic community gatherings.
Even more curious is why Mr. Phillips did not raise his questions during a face-to-face conversation I had with him and former mayor Richard Davis in the city park recently prior to the publication of his letter. I would have been glad to discuss Mr. Phillips’ concerns at that time rather than in a public forum, as the reason for me not attending those events is a rather private matter.
My wife has a life-threatening disease. She has been hospitalized several times this year. She has missed a lot of work and has no sick leave left. We took advantage of the long Memorial Day weekend, as it is our wedding anniversary date and the holiday weekend would not require her to request additional leave.
I believe that most people would not jump to the incorrect assumptions reflected in Mr. Phillips’ statements. Just because my relationship with my wife is extremely important to me does not mean I do not have a sincere respect and enormous gratitude for the sacrifices made by our military and their families.
I do, in fact, have a very high regard for our military. I am a veteran myself and I am a member of the American Legion. I did participate in both the Memorial Day Ceremony and the Veterans Day Ceremony last year. Perhaps that show of support merely slipped Mr. Phillips’ mind as I don’t feel he would intentionally omit mentioning them in order to be as fair and objective as possible.
I attend many functions as the mayor of the great city of Richmond Hill, and I enjoy representing the citizens of this city – and that includes our military. During the time in question, it seems very reasonable for me to have put my wife first.
Harold Fowler, mayor
city of Richmond Hill