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Letters to the Editor - Sept. 25

September 24, 2011

Events like 9/11 help Americans find added strength

To the editor:

We don't need to be told to remember Sept. 11, 2001. Those figures are etched indelibly in our brain and in our heart. One of, if not the most, emotional days we ever had. Horrible for those involved and horrible for those seeing it and hearing it. Unbelievable, frightening, nerve wracking. What did we see next? Sudden, immediate, forceful response.

We enjoy good times and gobble them up like a McDonald's Happy Meal. Good isn't always. Bad comes along, sometimes when you least expect it. Americans have a way of dealing with the good, bad and indifferent. Using our God-given intelligence, faith and trust to get through, come out a little more humble, a little more thankful. Added strength for what lies ahead.

We continue to sing our beautiful, patriotic songs and lift our beautiful flag heavenward for blessings. We will always remember lives sacrificed and do everything to encourage, love and pray for whatever is needed by our men and women in every field of service. Thank God for continuing to bless America, land of the free and home of the brave. We must keep it so.

Frances Moats
Hagerstown


It's time to close loopholes unfair to average taxpayers

To the editor:

Finally, I agree with President Obama. His support of the "Buffett Rule" on taxes is right on.

It is time for tax reform and the closing of loopholes that now exist that make it unfair to the average taxpayer. We need a simple tax structure, with the principle like our sales taxes.

I would suggest the following. Those individuals with a gross income of $20,000 per year would pay no tax. Those with incomes of $20,000 to $50,000 would pay 5 percent tax; $50,000 to $250,000 would pay 10 percent tax; and $250,000 to $1 million would pay 20 percent tax. With any business, it is simple to arrive at a gross income return, so the tax rate would still apply.

I suggest that a separate tax structure be set up for entertainment and sports-related incomes. A person — no matter how talented or intelligent — needs millions of dollars to enjoy the good life that many of us can only dream about? Any person or business that has millions of dollars of annual income can more than exist on a lot less. I suggest the rate of taxes in this situation would be 25 percent or more on their incomes.

I might mention I am a Republican. Out of the ordinary for a Republican?

Tom Wilhelm
Hagerstown


Meritus Medical Center should enforce nonsmoking rule

To the editor:

I must reply to John Gill's letter to the editor (Sept. 19) concerning the "butt problem" at Meritus Medical Center. On my first visit to Meritus, I was very pleased that the sign welcoming visitors and patients stated that it is a nonsmoking campus. A campus, by definition, includes the buildings and the grounds. Therefore, smoking is not permitted once one enters the property of Meritus. Thus, there should be no butts littering the shrubbery beds and the parking lots.

I thank Meritus Medical Center for trying to keep our community healthy by being a nonsmoking campus. If butt containers were provided as per Mr.Gill's suggestion, the public would be forced to breath tobacco smoke as well as have smoke on their person. I suggest that Meritus enforce the nonsmoking regulation to clean up the so-called butt problem.

Karlen Keto
Knoxville, Md.


Please pray for Gold Star mothers, families

To the editor:

Sept. 25 is a day set aside to honor the mothers of sons and daughters who have unselfishly given their lives to protect ours, while serving in our military. They are Gold Star mothers. They display a small red-and-white flag with gold trim in a window ... in the center is a gold star. No mother wants that gold star; we are happy and proud to have the blue one ... but it is replaced with a gold one when someone is killed in war. One of the hardest things a mom ever has to do is say good-bye to their child. They are not supposed to go on to heaven before we do.

If you see a Blue Star or Gold Star flag displayed, please take a minute and say a prayer for the family who has it displayed. Don't hesitate to let them know you are grateful to them for raising such a fine person. Thank you to all who display these flags. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. I wish it could be different.

Willie and Brigitte, thank you for Orville Lee and Harry. You did a fine job raising your sons. I am sorry they had to leave you so soon ... but heaven needed them. Thank you for being my friend and for being there for me when I had the Blue Star flag hanging in my window twice, and for sharing in our joy when Daniel came home safely. You are such great examples.

Darlene Hoffman
Sharpsburg


Despite tragedies, air shows should continue

To the editor:

This letter is in response to a story about the uncertain future of the Martinsburg air show following Saturday's sad and tragic air crash.

I have known several individuals personally who fly stunt planes and perform aerobatic maneuvers to entertain the public. They all do it because they want to, not because they are overly paid or because they have to. They simply love to thrill the crowd and fly in a manner that one would normally not be allowed to do.

It is the same as a racecar driver or a bull rider. Each year, around the world, a pilot will lose his life while doing this sport. It is a calculated risk they are all willing to take, and knowingly do so. The planes are highly modified and, in almost all cases, the pilots are highly trained not only in aeronautics but in the specialization of this type of flight. This was the case with the pilot who lost his life in Martinsburg. He was very well trained with a long and successful career as a military and civilian pilot. Sadly, things go wrong.

I personally do not believe that the elimination of the air show is a correct thing. This would be the same as eliminating NASCAR, NHRA drag racing, bull riding, football and boxing in the event of a death. These are not things that we expect, but they do happen. From those deaths, hopefully we learn from the mistakes that are made and improve the sport.

The air show is much more than just stunt flying, although that is what draws the crowd. It is a chance to view our military planes up close, to tour the air base and show our children the significance of our planes and pilots, those who are protecting our country on a daily basis. I am sure that pilot John Mangan would not wish to see this event end, as this was his love — the thrill of the sky in a vintage warbird.

Christopher Breeze
Martinsburg, W.Va.


Make a choice to keep the Sabbath a day of rest

To the editor:

How have we changed as a community since blue laws were repealed in the mid 1980s? Before the blue laws were repealed, the only activities on Sunday were church and church-related.

It would seem we started on a slippery slope that has gotten more slippery. Youth sports practice and events now occur on Sunday. Of course, except for a few, all businesses are now open on Sunday.

Jesus taught that the Sabbath was for rest. I feel He would also have said it was for reflection. One of the Ten Commandments speaks to this. As a society, we are now violating this commandment.

Each individual and family can make the decision as to the importance of this commandment. Some might draw a blank in this regard; however, the commandment is "Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy."

At least one national restaurant chain observes this every week. I salute them. They set an example for all of us.

I am not advocating enacting blue laws again, however I am asking every individual to make a choice.

Meredith Fouche
Sharpsburg

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