Is it wrong to honor the country's incoming president through simple but time-honored gestures from those involved in public services like our gallant firefighters? Is giving recognition to President-elect Donald Trump tantamount to firefighters " playing politics"?
Apparently yes for FDNY as it has instructed its firefighters not to hang pictures of Trump in firehouses or on their trucks. The order did not sit well with many firefighters who can't see the reason or logic behind such a directive.
An anonymous inside source expressed frustrations with the move. The source continues to believe that the firehouse is supposed to be a symbol of America and finds it difficult to understand why they can't put a picture of the democratically elected president of the U.S. hanging in the firehouse. Such move seems to be peculiar to the FDNY, the same source added.
The instruction was supposedly triggered by " complaints" to the department about a firetruck in Brooklyn-Engine 276- that was seen driving around with a Trump mask in its grille.
The FDNY's memo said that posting such materials is not in compliance with regulations and for all personnel to ensure that apparatus and their quarters be free of such materials. Of course, the firefighters knew immediately that " materials" in contention are synonymous to Trump-related materials.
The move became even more perplexing to workers because pictures of past presidents do hang in firehouses. The source upset with the different standards imposed by the department even makes the comparison that they do post pictures of President Obama whenever he comes visiting.
Top officials of FDNY justified their order by telling NYC's Bravest to " remain out of the political scene and out of the political field". That statement, however, invites more questions than clarification.
What's so political about the act of hanging pictures of the incoming president? Perhaps the leadership in FDNY is still stuck in the campaign or election mode. Well, the news should be served to them to enlighten them: the election is weeks' over already. We have a democratically- chosen incoming president. Time to move on, accept the fact that Hillary Clinton lost, and start honoring the new President with simple, traditional acts as hanging his pictures in firehouses and firetrucks. After all, Donald Trump is the new leader the public and the new Commander-in-Chief of all public servants.
Or is the leadership of FDNY the one playing with fire by playing politics after all, and rejecting honor for the country's choice for president, simply because their preferred candidate may have lost? To " not play politics" is to accept the will of the people and America's proud democratic traditions.