I have been attending and supporting the summer concerts since the first season. The last four years, my children have been enjoying it as well.

That is, until last night [this letter arrived Friday, Aug. 19] when a group of grumpy old people decided that we were not welcome, and that my 2-year-old’s dancing was somehow disrespectful to the Marines.

When approached by the grumpy old lady in the red shirt and told to “keep control of my child,” I was flabbergasted. When I asked her what the problem was, she told me that it was disrespectful to the Marines. My jaw about hit the ground, a 2-year-old is incapable of being disrespectful in the way she was implying.

My daughter was not the only child dancing and playing. These same people told my friend, whose kids were also enjoying themselves, “Why don’t you take your brats and go home.” When I went to leave, grumpy old lady’s husband actually looked at me and said, “Thank God you are leaving!” How dare they, talk about disrespect.

When the band was honoring veterans I stood up, they did not. My family has every right to enjoy the public, free, community concert and if my 2-year-old daughter (or next year, 3, or 4, and on and on) wants to dance up front, then she can.

How dare these people think for a minute that she is anything else than welcome. Shame on them. To add insult to injury, they complained to the master of ceremonies and he made an announcement that if your children were not running up front, a free popsicle was waiting for them. Had my girls not been having such a great time, I would have walked out.

If the rules are going to be different when the Marine band is up, then it needs to be clear, perhaps an announcement “Please no dancing or having fun, this is a somber and sober event.” But, of course, this is not the case at all. A group of us parents actually asked the Marines when they were on break if our kids were a distraction and they said “Let them dance.”

When we told the grumpy people what the Marines said, that’s when they said “Take your brats home.”

I am actually kind of sad for this group. Imagine having such a cold, black heart that instead of smiling when seeing a small child dancing, they instead went into such a hateful place. I think it may have had more to do with them feeling like they had VIP seats (they set up a table almost on the stage, could not have sat closer) or something and the kids were somehow invading their space.

Thankfully this group of haters does not represent the majority of our town, you will see us again next year, right up front, dancing and having fun. If anyone thinks children dancing is disrespectful, then please stay home next year.

Gary Agner