Letters to the editor

August 08, 2006

Brown letter was a disservice to American history

To the editor:

Although, I have no intent to debate or support the National Parks or NAACP policies, I would like to set a couple of historical facts straight from the July 23 letter to the editor titled: "John Brown was not a hero, he was a terrorist." Although I found the basic facts in that letter to be accurate, the writer is looking through distorted lenses.

Let me use the foundation of United States to prove my point. The original United States colonies were created by our Founding Fathers, who in their day would have been terrorists had they lost the Revolutionary War.

Patriots were considered terrorists and traitors to the British soldiers at Lexington/Concord. During that period of time war was based upon the principles of battlefield warfare. The colonists used guerrilla tactics, fighting behind trees, fences and farmers' stone walls. The Boston Tea Party was not a social affair; honorable citizens would not have dressed up like Native Americans.


History is based upon the precepts that history is written by the victor. King George III believed the rabble of the 13 colonies to have committed treason. However, every Fourth of July since 1776 history has assigned these gentlemen hero status and held them up as honorable men who exemplified the values of true Americans.

These Founding Fathers such as Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, George Washington and John Adams all hold a place in our history as the icons of American history. Take a moment and think when they signed the Declaration of Independence, they knew, as Ben Franklin put it, "We should all hang together, because if we don't, we will hang separately."

James Wilson of the colony of Pennsylvania also signed the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States and helped Pennsylvania to ratify the Constitution in Pennsylvania by less than what some would consider honorable means he was a ruthless land speculator.

True, the ideals we should hold up for our children should be the good in all people, the collage of righteous and basic citizenship. This collage is to make all people strive to be the best they can be.

However, it has never been an acceptable teaching practice to teach students that all facts are written in stone and truth never changes. In this time of technological advancement, education teaches students to take the opportunity to research and explore all possible sides of every character and event.

I'm sorry to inform the writer that life and history are made up of people, people who live in the "gray world." They may not be all good and probably not all bad.

But to put anyone's actions in a vacuum and crystallize them as this writer did, does a disservice to any reader of this paper and any student of history.

Bryan D. Sirokman
Clear Spring

Time for some new, term-limited officials in Washington, D.C.

To the editor:

I just wanted to let everyone know about several great jobs opening up in the Tri-State area this fall. The pay is great - an annual $165,200 to start. And for that amount you will only have to work three days a week - Tuesdays through Thursdays.

Of course, you won't have to work Tuesdays through Thursdays when you are on your month-long summer vacation. In addition, you get at least 10 days off for all holidays - Easter, Memorial Day, Fourth of July - and more than that for Christmas and New Year.

Not only will you get a large raise every year, but you also get health insurance, a pension and plenty of taxpayer money you can earmark to buy support from businesses and other organizations that enable you to keep your job until you are old and gray.

Best of all, you don't have to do anything on this job. Forget about such things as paying off the national debt, reforming health insurance, immigration, Social Security, and medicare. All you have to do is get elected to Congress, then send out self-congratulatory pamphlets and give speeches at luncheons and banquets to raise money so you can run for re-election.

Do you think this is really what our forefathers had in mind when they set up our legislative branch of government? Instead of getting angry and refusing to vote, perhaps we can be more effective by kicking all our present representatives out of office and demanding that the new ones set term limits so members of congress stop representing their big business financiers and start representing the people.

Anne Kerfoot
Shepherdstown W.Va.

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