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Letters to the Editor - Feb. 10

February 10, 2013

Fairplay Fire Co. situation has saddened me

To the editor:

It has saddened me since the Fairplay Fire Co. ordeal first began. I was there at the beginning of the fire company, when it was named District 12 Volunteer Fire Co., because that was the area it served, not just Fairplay. It served Fairplay, Tilghmanton, Emmertsville, Manor Church, Breathedsville, Lappans, Saint James, Spielman, Bakersville, Grimes Station, Tommytown, Taylors Landing, and all the farms and families in between.

I am sure there are many people turning over in their graves because of what has happened to what they created.

I was a teenager when the fire company began. My parents were just two of the people who worked hard to start the fire company, which took a lot of work. They held festivals, shooting matches, jousting tournaments, card parties, suppers and dances. They also had a large tent that they used at the Great Hagerstown Fair to serve meals. They used real china, and I went there after school and washed dishes all evening. They did everything they could to earn money.

After several years, they started the firemen’s carnival. It was thought to be the best carnival in the area by many people. They always had very good food and the best entertainment in those days. 

I believe it was 1949 when we got the firetruck. I will never forget the day. Everyone was excited and turned out to see what all their hard work had accomplished. The firemen were truly volunteers, with only elementary training and no fancy equipment, but they always got the job done. Someone came and had first-aid classes, and I went with my father.

In those early years, there were few telephones in the area and there was no one stationed at the fire hall. There were several families in Fairplay that would take the calls and turn in the alarm. During the daytime, most of the calls were answered by farmers; in the evening, by others after work.

These people were all hard-working greatest generation Americans, and losing the fire company would be heartbreaking to them. They wouldn’t understand, because they all worked so hard to succeed. I am sure there are not too many of us from the early days left.

I don’t know what the answer to the present problem is, but it might be going back to what those original people did. This is a community problem,  and I believe the community should find a way to come together and solve it. After all, if I am correct, the fire compnay doesn’t belong to the officers and members. It belongs to the community it serves and the citizens who support it. There are a great many more people now than those few who worked so hard to have a fire company. I hope they come together to save it.

Charles “Buddy” Semler
Sharpsburg


For all the news, you must watch several channels

To the editor:

I am responding to the letter by Anne and Buddy Keyser that appeared in The Herald-Mail on Jan. 30.

I am a news junkie. I spend a great deal of time keeping up with what is going on in the world. I watch MSNBC, Fox, CNN and C-SPAN, as well as CBS, ABC and NBC.

In their letter, they stated that if the 51 percent who voted for President Obama had watched Fox News, he would not have won re-election. Are they kidding? The truth is Fox News is the reason that he won. By watching more than one channel, the voters were able to get a better understanding of all the issues that are at play in the coming four years, not just what they wanted to hear.

I suggest that the Keysers change channels now and then to hear more than one side of the issues that shape this world and our nation. They just might become part of the 51 percent.

Raymond Young
Hagerstown


Gun control does not mean taking away all guns

To the editor:

On Feb. 1, an Associated Press story from Charleston, W.Va., appeared in The Herald-Mail. In the story, the Raleigh County sheriff says he won’t enforce any gun laws that Congress passes because he is charged with defending the entire Constitution.

“Everybody, and I mean everybody, has an inherent right to be able to defend themselves. That is beyond written law. That’s the law of nature,” the sheriff said. He also said that “five or six really loud morons” in Congress support outlawing certain weapons.

Perhaps the meaning and intent of outlawing certain weapons is not understood by a handful of West Virginia sheriffs. The gun being used by the president, which was shown on the weekend news, should be an indication that those who support gun control laws are not “loud morons” who want to take away all guns. We do not wish to take away the fun of sport or the ability to protect you or your family.

Pleasure for one group of citizens that wishes to own assault-type weapons cannot outweigh the value of others’ lives killed by these weapons. Killing 20 children and their teachers was a tragedy, but so are the daily murders on our streets and in our homes.

Do background checks. Increase the effort to recognize people with mental health problems. Educate proper use of firearms. But first remove the types of guns that have the capacity to kill and injure a mass number of people at once. While we hunt for the people who will potentially be harmful to others, we may save lives if the opportunity to purchase these weapons has been removed.

Lu Marletta
Hagerstown


Reader ‘shocked, sickened’ by Herald-Mail front-page ad

To the editor:

Have you and your advertising and marketing departments lost your minds? Is The Herald-Mail in such dire straits for ad revenue that you take money from www.helpmeshoot.com?

I am very disappointed and contemplating canceling my newspaper subscription. I was shocked and sickened to see the “sticker” ad on the front page of my Sunday, Feb. 3, newspaper. Maybe this ad has run before and I just missed seeing it, but in light of recent events nationally and locally, discretion would certainly be appreciated by this longtime Herald-Mail reader.

Amy E. Mason
Hagerstown


As a nation, we should learn from our history

To the editor:

A wise man once said, “The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.” I do not believe it is necessarily the conscious intent of our (elected) leaders to facilitate this process from a place of critical thought, but rather from a place of personal conviction.

Personal conviction, history has proved, has time and time again produced tyrants, maniacal and bent on the personal preposition of selfishness simply because the populace they have sworn to protect and serve has been silent. This silence originates from many points, but always ends in tragedy, some more defined than others. The silence of the populace is often preceded by times of great opulence, as well as times of great solace and statism which, as history has proven, digresses into a form of fascist oligarchy — and in the present age into a form of authoritarianism controlled by corporatism.

This process leads, as we see today in our country, to a system of outward governance best coined as ineptocracy, where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers. Not only our country, but our states, towns, cities, boroughs and hamlets are at a point of critical mass.

We arguably stand in the midst of the wealthiest and most opulent society which man has ever known, watching it fall like a giant as we gaze out of the vapor-thin bubble of apathy which is about to burst, crushing the liberties and freedoms that those who came before us fought and died to secure — never to return.

Jeremy C. Jones
Mercersburg, Pa.

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