When they look in the mirror, they see themselves
as freedom fighters in the style of
Nathan Hale, Davy Crockett and Theodore
Roosevelt, rising up against injustice and
government overreach to defend their right to exist.
But to the rest of us, the anti-vaxxers are nothing
close to a freedom fighter — because a genuine patriot
is someone who cares more about the safety and
well-being of others than about themselves.
It’s bad enough that the vaccine refusers deny the
science of the COVID-19 vaccine amid the killer pandemic
It’s bad enough that they choose to substitute
the reality of the vaccine’s effectiveness at stopping
severe illness for some nonexistent Orwellian dystopia,
fed to them by professional liars, where Big
Brother is watching with a poisonous syringe in
It’s bad enough that they protest mandates, supported
by the majority of people, in favor of imposing
their own “tyranny of the minority” where no
vaccines are mandated, and we’re forced to play Russian
roulette with our health every time we go into
a school, a doctor’s office, a restaurant, a movie theater,
Seemingly realizing their ignorance isn’t winning
the public over, the anti-vaxxers have chosen
another tactic: Invading public spaces such as malls
to make their point, endangering the vast majority
in the process.
That happened last week at the Cheesecake Factory
restaurant in the Queens Center mall, where the
anti-vaxxers breached the eatery, where only vaccinated
patrons are permitted to dine, as per city regulations.
Six protesters were arrested; no one knows
how many patrons may wind up being infected by
It’s one thing to protest in the streets, but it’s another
to breach a private business and intimidate
its customers over a policy for which they have no
control. Whoever decided this stupid, feckless stunt
was a smart idea should be ashamed, but we question
whether they have such capacity within themselves.
COVID-19 cases are rising again in New York City.
People are getting infected, including those who got
the vaccine previously.
But hospitalization and death rates are down,
largely because people chose to get vaccinated — and
as a result, their cases are not as severe.
HOW TO REACH US
TIMESLEDGER | Q 12 NS.COM | DEC. 24 - DEC. 30, 2021
A group of people against the COVID-19 vaccine mandate rallied in and outside the Cheesecake Factory at the
Queens Center Mall on Dec. 15. Screenshot via newyorkfreedomrally2/Instagram
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Christmas is here, and there is much for most
of us to do — gifts to buy and wrap, cards
to send and even a few more decorations to
But for me, I feel Christmas is a time to reflect
about the troubles in the world, especially in our country,
where hundreds of thousands of people have died
during the COVID-19 pandemic and many more have
gotten sick from this disease.
The message of the season is, “peace on Earth and
goodwill toward men.”
This is where many of us reflect on the gentler
times in our past.
It was 1957, during the Cold War, but I didn’t much
understand or care about such things. I was 8 years
old, living in a corner house in Queens Village with
my mother, father and two blind boarders my mother
We didn’t have much money, but always had a good
Christmas full of love, sharing and plenty of music,
which my mother said was “tonic for the soul.”
A few evenings before Christmas, we set out to
buy our Christmas tree, but my father’s car would not
start. It was a crisp, cold night and snow was on the
ground and still falling. My father had an idea so my
mother wouldn’t be disappointed.
We took my sled to a place where they sold trees on
Francis Lewis Boulevard, which was about a half-mile
away. When we got there, my father picked out a beautiful
6-foot tree. We tied it on top of my sled and guided
it home to 213th Street. We sang Christmas carols all
the way home!
Kindness and love seemed to bounce from house
to house in those days, and neighbors greeted one another
with a kind, “Merry Christmas.”
Carolers sang from house to house. Churches were
beaming with worshippers.
Christmas meant a lot back then, and I just can’t
help but wonder if that Christmas spirit will ever return.
The picture-perfect Christmases of our memories
may have been laced with imperfections, but I still
think that they were better than the frenzied days we
have now. I can’t help but hope that America returns
to family values and remembers the true meaning of
Christmas: Peace and goodwill.
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.,