Category Archives: Pledge of Allegiance

Middletown Democratic Chairman Fires Back at Former GOP Mayor


MIDDLETOWN TOWNSHIP – Middletown Democratic Chairman Joe Caliendo said that a recent letter to the editor by ex-Middletown Mayor Tom Hall is out of line.

“In his letter, Mr. Hall questioned the patriotism of Middletown Committeeman Patrick Short because he did not say the words to the Pledge of Allegiance at Committee meetings,” Caliendo said.

Caliendo characterized Hall’s remarks as “outlandish,” given the fact that Short is a West Point graduate who retired from the U.S. Army as a Lieutenant Colonel after serving more than 20 years on Active Duty in his nation’s uniform.

“Patriotism isn’t something that is measured by how loud you say a pledge, or making sure that you put a bumper sticker on your car. Patriotism is about service, and I would stack Mr. Short’s commitment and service to his nation, in the service and out, against Mr. Hall’s any day. Of course, I am unsure if Mr. Hall ever served his country in the Armed Services. While I do not think that should be held against anyone, if someone does not, I certainly do think that serving in the Army for a whole career makes a statement too. He is a patriot, and that is that,” Caliendo said.

Caliendo said that he believes Hall’s attack was based on the fact that Mr. Short is a Democrat. “I spoke to a Republican once and asked him, ‘Why does your party insist on character assassination and lies as a way to campaign?’ He responded that it is done because it works.”

Caliendo said that holding someone accountable to their official actions and problems with public service is expected. “But, there has to be a better way to go than outright lies,” Caliendo concluded.

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Filed under Middletown Democrats, Middletown GOP, Patrick Short, Pledge of Allegiance, Tom Hall, U.S. Army, West Point graduate

Former Middletown Mayor Attacks Committeeman’s Patriotism

In response to Middletown’s former Mayor Tom Hall, someone who couldn’t stand to answer questions he didn’t like or take the heat when people demanded answers and finally stepped down from the township governing body because of it, just can’t get over his strange and personally vindictive obsession with Middletown’s Democratic Committeeman Patrick Short.

This obscene obsession seems to resemble a jilted lover’s scorn at being left at the alter or in Hall’s case, at being rejected by Short when Hall offered to take him under his wing soon after being elected to the township committee.

In every letter that Tom Hall seems to write, he wants an apology from Short for something that, in his mind may or may not have happened months or years ago! In his latest letter to the Atlantic Highlands Herald that was published on 9/22/09 however has gone too far and demands a rebuttal.

How on earth does Tom G. Hall, former Mayor of Middletown, get off questioning a West Point graduate and a retired Army Lt. Colonel’s patriotism? How dare he try to insinuate that a man who served his country proudly, so that all who didn’t serve could live free, is anything less than noble in order to score some trivial political points against a man who is seeking re-election, by carelessly writing that Patrick Short will not recite the Pledge of Allegiance before meetings!

I have stood next to Patrick when the pledge is taking place. His hand is on his heart and he looks at our flag; in my opinion, silent prayers are more powerful than those that are spoken – so are pledges. It is his business alone where his heart, mind and soul are, or are not. It definitely is none of my business. His mouth not moving does not mean anything more than his mouth is not moving, nothing more, and nothing less. To judge ones patriotism or love of country on silence during a pledge is a judgment of a petty and shallow person.

A good part of what our country stands for and is deeply rooted in is freedom of expression. Everyone has the right to express their freedom in words, song or silence. Patrick’s military service to our country has more substance and expresses more allegiance than a pledge spoken or said in silence.

When one bows ones head in silence in remembrance of others at the begining of Township Committee meetings, or other events, is that any less powerful or meaningful or reverent than speaking in remembrance? I find silence powerful and reverently fulfilling when remembering what our country stands for, especially when in remembrance of others.

Tom Hall is entitled to be a moron; unfortunately he invests a lot of time practicing at being one. This is a childish attempt at a “Got-Cha ” moment by a small, frightened member of the opposition, who thinks he is helping… little does he know.


Filed under Atlantic Highlands Herald, Lt. Colonel, Middletown NJ, Patrick Short, patriotism, Pledge of Allegiance, Tom Hall, U.S. Army, West Point graduate