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letters to the editor - 3/26/03

March 26, 2003

Thanks for support



To the editor:


Every year families of military members send emergency messages to their enlisted loved ones, millions of Americans are trained in lifesaving first aid and CPR courses, countless numbers of patients receive blood and the victims of more than 67,000 disasters are given financial assistance to help them get back on their feet.

These are just a few of the humanitarian accomplishments celebrated during March, the official American Red Cross month.

Since 1943, each president of the United States has proclaimed March to be "Red Cross Month" to recognize the lifesaving efforts of the organization. Although the Red Cross is not a government organization, the U.S. president serves as its honorary chairman.

The annual tradition began when America was in the midst of World War II. In March, 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt used the first Red Cross Proclamation as a call to action for all Americans:

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"I summon the men, women and young people of our country, in every city and town and village, in very county and state throughout the land, to enlist in the army of mercy mobilized under the banner of the Red Cross and to contribute generously to the Red Cross War Fund."

More than half a century later, there is a new call to action. On Feb. 20, the American Red Cross launched a nationwide campaign to help Americans prepare for emerging threats and disasters before they happen. The Together We Prepare campaign encourages individuals and families to take five proactive steps toward safety.

The five simple steps Americans can take to better prepare themselves are: Make a plan, build a kit, get trained, volunteer and give blood.

As the Red Cross celebrates Red Cross Month, we at the Washington County Chapter want to thank all those in our community who make this magnificent system of neighbor helping neighbor possible - our wonderful volunteers, our generous donors, the many local businesses who support our efforts in so many ways, and the local emergency services personnel who are often our partners in help.

Julie M. Barr-Strasburg
Executive Director
Washington County Chapter
American Red Cross




Which leader is more dangerous?



To the editor:


Who is the most dangerous world leader? I contend that it isn't Saddam Hussein, or Kim Sung II, but our own president, George W. Bush. He has made the world and the United States less secure with his heavy-handed tactics and his warmongering. No matter what Iraq did, our president was going to find a way to get us into war. North Korea was not as much of a problem as it is now, not until Bush called it member of the "Axis of Evil." Now since we are going after Iraq, they naturally assume that they will be next.

Does the kind of rhetoric coming from the Bush administration make us safer in the world? Bush's tactics have soured our relationships with friendly countries in Europe and Asia. Since we are the only superpower, the Bush administration insists that we get our way. And if other countries don't like it, we will do it alone.

We have become the international bully, the number one belligerent nation. No country likes to be pushed around like that, and that's why there are now anti-American demonstrations even in friendly countries like South Korea. If we go ahead with this unilateral war, Americans won't be safe anywhere.

Our economy is still in the pits and it will continue to be there as long as there is this kind of instability in the world generated by our president. We are back to deficit spending, and now even more so because the war in Iraq will probably cost more than $100 billion as well as who knows how many lost lives. Bush's environmental policy, his civil-rights policy and his health- care policy are all atrocious. All this from a president who didn't even win the popular vote!

Now, since both houses of Congress are controlled by his party, this sorry excuse for a president will have an easier time completing his disastrous domestic and international agendas. All I can say for our nation and the world we live in is - God help us!

Bernard F. Murphy
Hedgesville, W.Va.




Patriotic company



To the editor:


I assume you have all seen the reports about how Sears is treating its reservist employees who are called up. By law, they are required to hold their jobs open and available, but nothing more.

Usually, people take a big pay cut and lose benefits as a result of being called up. Sears is voluntarily paying the difference in salaries and maintaining all benefits, including medical insurance and bonus programs, for all called-up reservist employees for up to two years.

Sears is an exemplary corporate citizen and should be recognized for its contribution. I suggest we all shop at Sears, and be sure to find a manager to tell them why we are there so the company gets the positive reinforcement it well deserves.

Jeanine Boseck
Hagerstown




Federal trumps state



To the editor:


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