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Letters to the editor

Honor Flight provided a day full of memories

At 5:30 a.m. on May 8, I was driven to the airport by my escort, Ray Wanley. At arrival at the gate, they checked our IDs and then saluted. When we arrived at the terminal, we were given an Honor Guard T-shirt, a hat for World War II and Korea, plus breakfast. I was given a camera and a picture was taken of me and my escort, which was framed and given later. When we walked down the tarmac, there was a big crowd waving and clapping. It made me so proud as we took off. Fire engines sprayed water on plane; I guess it was for us sailors.

Upon arrival in Washington, D.C., fire trucks again sprayed the aircraft. In the terminal was a band playing music. The young lady who was singing gave me a hug. We were escorted through the terminal, and everyone was clapping and shaking our hands.

We were escorted to the World War II Memorial, Korea Memorial, Lincoln Memorial and Vietnam Memorial. Our final stop was the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I was so impressed. It was hard not to cry. On arriving in Fort Wayne, I thought it was over, but walking off the aircraft there were at least 100 people there to greet us by waving flags and clapping. Then we were given wonderful gifts. We were told to take our cameras to Walgreens as they would develop pictures for free. My appreciation is so great for this wonderful treatment and food and all parts of this trip. My 89 years of age made me happy I am an American.


Cleanup for free lunch teaches only humiliation

The letter from William R. Troehler on May 13 (“Lunch plan teaches self-respect”) could have been written by Ebenezer Scrooge prior to the visits from the three spirits. “Students who receive free lunches should pick up cafeteria trash or other things. This will teach them self-respect and that you should not get something for nothing.”

We do not give needed help with one hand and expect repayment with the other. We help because it is the right thing to do. A child who arrives at school hungry and with no money for lunch should not be considered cheap help. This child obviously already has problems. Why in the world would you want to add to this child’s problems by bringing attention to his or her lack of money?

If this child is receiving only one meal per day, why should this little sustenance be used in the energy expended in picking up someone else’s trash?

Do not embarrass this child. It is not the child’s fault. A child’s hunger is never the child’s fault.

Yes, we pay taxes. If our taxes pay for anything at all, the first priority should be to ensure the proper nutrition of America’s children – all of America’s children. Please don’t ever call food given to a child a handout. If you truly want children to have pride, begin by showing them respect.


Edgy play reflective of teens’ maturing

I am writing to respond to a May 13 letter which was critical of the selection and recent performance of Mel Brooks’ “The Producers” by the faculty and students of Northrop High School.

The author found the performance religiously offensive, sexually suggestive and generally immoral. Ultimately, the letter writer conflates the performance of an “edgy” musical with the ruination of the public school system. This is terribly unfair to Northrop and to Fort Wayne Community Schools.

Students attend high school during very influential years as they mature into adulthood. In this time their understanding of the human condition matures as well. Often that understanding is molded by great art and literature. During my high school years I was exposed to Orwell, Twain, Shakespeare, Bradbury, Harper Lee, Hawthorne and many others. I am so grateful that most of these were required reading in the public schools I attended.

“The Producers” is a time-tested and great American comedy. I am proud that the administration, faculty and students of Northrop delivered an exemplary work of theatrical and musical art.

Unfortunately, the author of that letter left at intermission and was deprived of the genius of Brooks in his ability to finish a story. Perhaps waiting to see the third act may have helped her cross into “I get it” territory, and perhaps her opinion of the public schools would not be so negative. We will never know.


‘I didn’t know’ defense simply indefensible

Imagine this: Any CEO who has a department that admits it has harassed customers based on political stance, whose IT department commits illegal phone tapping on the local news media, and four of his outside salesmen died on the road. ...

And then this CEO constantly claims “I didn’t know” every time he’s confronted about it. Then he directs marketing to say that all of those issues are irrelevant. Even one of his top executives screams in a news interview, “What difference does it make?”

Then you find out that the company is in debt by the millions of dollars and millions of dollars more have been wasted on unproven technology. The CEO puts practices in place to dilute his company’s capacity to prosper. Jobs are eliminated and not replaced. Expenses continue to outpace sales.

This CEO would still be employed, right? The board of directors would call him inspirational and visionary, right? Stockholders would have no problem with his lavish parties, vacations and golfing trips on the company dime, right?


Lower DWI limit only makes work for lawyers

It amazes me when a government tries to issue a new law in the name of safety. We the citizens suffer the consequences, whether directly or indirectly.

Most legislators are lawyers. They pass laws that keep their profession alive and booming – with little or no regard to any other profession or business because this law is for “safety.” I am specifically talking about lowering the legal limit for alcohol from .08 to .05.

I doubt it would save many lives. Did you know that when an accident occurs, if a police officer suspects someone is intoxicated, they will administer a Breathalyzer? If any of the drivers is intoxicated, the accident is ruled a drunk-driving accident even though the sober driver was at fault and disobeyed a traffic signal.

Please join me in telling your representatives to say no to this ludicrous idea. Our drunk-driving laws are working fine. This issue should be a state issue anyway.

I have never been arrested for a DUI and I hardly ever drink, but I have kids and grandkids. I know they will experiment, and I do not wish a bigger burden on them. Quit writing more laws and more regulations – we have had enough.


Vietnam objector’s tale worthless at any price

I read the May 14 article promoting The Hitchhike, and the author, attorney Mark Paul Smith.

I am the same age as Smith. I lost many friends in Vietnam and many more came home with debilitating physical, mental and emotional wounds. Some have never recovered completely; two committed suicide years later.

Smith paints a picture of a spoiled rich kid who decided he didn’t much like the idea of getting shot at, so he became a conscientious objector. Worse, he “apologized” for his country.

I take it we are supposed to applaud his “integrity” in not fleeing to Canada. He stayed home and with, I’m sure, his father’s legal coaching, said and did all the right things to convince the powers in charge of his sincerity. Now he is making money from his book about his travels and experiences that led to this great revelation.

I urge all veterans, anyone who was affected by or suffered a loss resulting from service to our country, to not help Smith profit from his actions.

KAY SMITH (no relation) Garrett