This evening, I sent the following email message to the Fox News organization.
Sent: Saturday, March 16, 2002 12:36 AM
Subject: From the President of the Arlington County Civic Federation
Dear Mr. O'Reilly -- Regarding your show on the Pledge of Allegiance,
I was disturbed and dismayed this evening to see Arlington resident Mr. Bernie Bern on your show with the words "Arlington County Civic Federation" below his picture. Mr. Berne, although one of 500 delegates of the Federation, was not authorized to represent the Federation in his statements opposing the Pledge of Allegiance . By our bylaws, only the President of the Civic Federation may represent that organization. And that's me.
In fact, the Federation, which is comprised of 78 member organizations with constituents numbering over 10,000, on March 5th, overwhelmingly approved a resolution to begin all Federation meetings with the Pledge of Allegiance (or alternatively the Star Spangled Banner). The Federation, not to be confused with our elected County Board (which is the organization that declines to say the Pledge) this very evening (while Mr. Berne was appearing on you show) began its annual banquet with the Pledge of Allegiance. We were led by an Arlington Firefighter who fought the blaze at the Pentagon on September 11. In fact, later that evening, I was proud to announce that the Federation had raised over $100,000 to fund scholarships for the children of our emergency personnel in recognition of their heroism on September 11 (with all but one half of one per cent going directly to the scholarships).
I would be delighted if you could set the record straight. As a retired Naval Aviator (22 year career), I take great exception to the views of Mr. Berne. We, in Arlington, had many friends and neighbors who worked in the Pentagon who were killed, injured and horribly disfigured in that most heinous of attacks. While I am proud to have served my country and even to have defended the rights of persons (even Mr. Berne) to express such disagreeable positions, I take strong exception to his misrepresentation of our organization. We didn't deserve that kind of misrepresentation.
James W. Pebley, Commander, U.S. Navy, Retired
President, Arlington County Civic Federation
(h) 703-525-0766 (c) 703 283-6573
This page was last revised on: December 28, 2003.