Letters to the Editor

February 10, 2009

A touching scene

To the editor:

In case you thought students in Washington County were self-absorbed, I want to tell you that you are wrong.

My mother and I were two of the more than 1,700 people who filed into Williamsport Senior High School's cafeteria last Saturday to attend the pancake breakfast for Katie Stains, the young cheerleader who was recently diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma. What a tremendous turnout it was!

As I ate my breakfast and enjoyed conversation with the people around me, I realized that the turnout was not just from Williamsport and the immediate surrounding areas but it encompassed all of Washington County, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. As we sat there and enjoyed a feeling of awe and camaraderie, little did I know what waited as I left the breakfast.

Walking down the steps toward the parking lot, I looked up to see a long line of young women headed toward the cafeteria. What made them special is that they were all wearing North Hagerstown High School uniforms. I believe they were cheerleading uniforms. As I turned to look back at my mother to see if she had noticed them. I saw tears in her eyes. Another woman behind us spoke to the girls and thanked them for coming. We all joined in.


When I recall those old high school rivalries, I never thought much had changed. But I was wrong. Something has changed and it is very special. The cheerleaders from North High, and possibly representatives from other schools that I did not have the pleasure of seeing, came to Williamsport High School to show their support for Katie. I doubt they know her well, if at all. But they came. They showed her that they cared and they wanted her to know.

I may be getting mushy in my old age, but I find that incredibly touching. I think the teachers and parents of the cheerleaders from North High and all the students who attended Katie's breakfast should be very proud. They showed us all that no matter who we are or where we are from, that we can take the time to show we care for each other. No age limits. No geographical limits.

This breakfast illustrated not only how an immediate community can come together to help one of their own in need but how caring can truly cross all kinds of distances, be they geographical or age.

Katherine Cooker

Stop bickering

To the editor:

Bickering politicians seems to be the latest problem for newly elected President Obama - while thousands, perhaps millions of Americans sit in the balance of trust of this new administration and its style of leadership and governance. We sit in witness of a series of backstabbings and bickering. It is frankly, embarrassing and childlike. Why? We saw it under President Bush and now we see the same partisan tactics under President Obama.

Yes, I agree he can be more frugal and direct in his approach with the stimulus, but let's face the facts. He has only been president for less than 30 days. It amazes me how much insanity rests in the seats of the Senate and House. For years, many of these seasoned politicians expected manna to flow from the heavens and the Red Sea to part under the other administrations. Now they expect greater miracles under the Obama administration.

Come on politicians. How can anyone reverse Washington's legislative laziness overnight? Let's sit back and see if this proposed stimulus can create what his team says it can by Christmas? If it can't, impeach him for pork barrel spending. This is the way Washington works, right?

We all are given the basic right of freedom of speech. We are entitled to our own opinion. But listening to the opinions of millions of Americans is not something the leaders in Congress and the Senate seem to take seriously anymore. Enough is enough, already!

Reginald Pugh

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