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Letters to the Editor

August 31, 2009

With Kennedy's death, a voice for justice is lost



To the editor:

Before the letters start coming in about Sen. Ted Kennedy's human shortfalls, I would like to say we have lost a great advocate for American justice. A man who had great shoes to fill and burdens to carry that most of us would crumble under.

Kennedy could have, at any time, abandoned his fight to raise the standard of living for the working man. He could have cowered under the hate and the many death threats and hidden behind bodyguards, but he chose to put his faith in his God and in his fellow man.

For those who will criticize his heritage, I ask you, what have you done to promote the welfare of your neighbor? Would you stand up and shout for raises in the minimum wage and better health care for those less fortunate than yourself knowing an assassin's bullet could be aimed at your head? If you knew you had accidentally caused the death of another human being, and that disclosure would negate all the good that your family had done before you and all you were trying to do, how long would you take to consider the consequences of your actions before you had the courage to face the truth about your thoughtless and irresponsible behavior? Could you leave the comfort of wealth and privilege and place yourself up for public criticism to gain the right to fight in Congress for a better life for others?

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Kennedy had choices and challenges most of us will never have and his choices were not made for his own comfort. What did he need?

Lately, what is coming out of the mouths of men and women in Congress who could step up and be leaders is hateful and self-serving. They feel no shame and no obligation to others. They call your home and use the media to deceive Americans and play on the fear and ignorance of hardworking people who want to do the right thing.

I am a senior citizen. I have seen a lot over the years, but I have never seen such division in our country. Remember, when you are listening to politicians knowingly trying to fill your mind with their deceitful rhetoric, they want only one thing from you and that is your vote. Instead of standing up in Congress and rigorously fighting for decency and justice for you, they are teaching you intolerance and feeding on your fears.

Kennedy had his priorities straight and although he never had to experience the loss of a job or health care, his understanding came from something much deeper - the sudden tragic and painful loss over and over again of the presence, love and support of his family. He understood pain and he understood loss, whether it was a job, health care or the life of a loved one fighting in a war that he knew was wrong and that he voted against.

We have lost something valuable. We have lost a voice for justice at a time when there is no one else in Congress courageous enough to stand up and be counted for what is right, not just for what is best for themselves.

Mary Rohr
Hagerstown




Open your eyes and ears on health care bill



To the editor:

What don't you understand about this health care bill?

People say open your mind. Well, how about your eyes and ears.

Now then, let me get this straight. We are considered fear mongers or worse if we say no to this health care bill.

So here are my questions to you and your readers, both for and against.

1. Why are the members of the U.S. House and Senate, for attaching amendments to their respective bills, saying they "cannot be made" to take it?

2. What is in this bill that they are so afraid of?

3. Why did they attach these amendments? Is it because they know we "all" could be made sometime in the future?

This leads me to my final question:

4. Why shouldn't we be fearful of this bill, just based on my first three questions?

Blair Rahl
Hedgesville, W.Va.




Strong athletic programs can enhance learning



To the editor:

It is one of the benefits of being an American that we can voice our opinions as citizens. It is our duty as members of the community, taxpayers and parents that we get involved and learn about the decisions being made by our leaders. That is why I am writing.

In December 2008, a group of citizens formed a grass-roots initiative called Better Sports Now Washington County (e-mail address is bettersportsnow@yahoo.com). Our mission is to support building "world-class" athletic programs in all schools throughout Washington County, consistent with the vision of the Washington County Board of Education to have "world-class" schools; and acknowledging that strong athletic programs can bring lessons to our youth learned beyond the classroom and lessons that extend into their lives as young adults within our community.

I am writing to urge all citizens of Washington County who care about the quality and integrity of our sports programs to stay involved, ask questions, learn more, see what you can do to help and ultimately support our youth.

We want to thank members of the Board of Education and the administration for willingly addressing our concerns and supporting our ideas. We look forward to a continuing relationship.

Character development is the true aim of education. Strong athletic programs can enhance the learning experience.

Jackie Brewer
spokeswoman
Better Sports Now Washington County
Hagerstown

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