Opinion: Message rings true for gas pipeline opponents

I was moved by the June 9 guest editorial, “Make your bed perfectly, and don’t ring that bell.” I also had read and watched the video of the commencement address delivered by Naval Admiral William H. McRaven to the University of Texas graduates. I highly recommend reading or watching his speech in its entirety. They truly are “words to live by.”
The admiral’s address struck close to home. For me, making my bed brings the satisfaction of successfully completing the first task of the day. Even if you have a horrible day, you know you have a freshly made bed waiting for you at the end of it.
The brass bell in the center of the compound symbolizes the easy way out. If things become too difficult, too hard or too challenging, just go ring the bell. Quit, walk away and never look back. But true warriors never ring the bell. Those that do, don’t change the world.
Mr. McRaven’s parting words are worth repeating: “Know that life is not fair and that you will fail often, but if you take some risks, step up when the times are toughest, face down the bullies, lift up the downtrodden and never, ever give up — if you do these things, the next generation and the generations that follow will live in a world far better than the one we have today and what we started here will indeed have changed the world for the better.”
It is as if these inspirational words were written for the International Paper pipeline opponents, who are growing in number and determination every day. We know it’s not fair to the landowners who are asked to host this pipe. We know it’s not fair to our children, grandchildren and other heirs of this earth to build more fossil fuel infrastructure that will add to our climate change problems.
And so we will face down Vermont Gas, which has bullied, intimidated, trespassed and threatened eminent domain to landowners. We will never give up our fight to stop this pipeline. We know that if we continue to fight, we will win, and the next generation and generations to follow will live in a far better world than the one we have today. What Vermont Gas has started here, we will stop, and we will change our remarkable corner of the world for the better.
I know that I can speak for all of the opponents of this insidious pipeline project when I say we will NEVER, EVER ring the bell.
Randy Martin

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