Letters to the editor for May 26
It is a sacred day to all war veterans. None need to be reminded of the reason that Memorial Day must be commemorated.
But what about the general public and, more importantly, our future generations? It is a day to honor fellow Americans killed in war. It is more than simply another day off from work.
Sacrifice is meaningless without remembrance. Attending cemetery ceremonies, placing flags at grave sites and wearing Buddy Poppies are examples of demonstrating remembrance.
With war under way in Afghanistan and Iraq, the public has no excuse not to remember.
As America’s older war veterans fast disappear from our midst, there are fewer standard-bearers left to carry the torch of remembrance. This much is owed to the more than 4,500 Americans who have died thus far in Afghanistan and Iraq. In essence, America is commemorating those who made the greatest sacrifice possible – giving one’s own life on behalf of others.
South Lake Tahoe
South Lake Tahoe VFW Post No. 2627
American Legion Post No. 795
I felt compelled to write on behalf of service personnel both past and present. To thank Army Sgt. Tim Smith for the sacrifice he made to the service of our nation. And also to thank his family for raising a wonderful, unselfish young man.
I did not personally know young Sgt. Smith, but I know of many just like him. Unlike some young men and women in this day and age, the men and women who serve our country should be praised for the giving of themselves, unconditionally, to the service of our nation in times of great danger, to risk their lives so that the rest of us remain free.
I would also like to share a short story with you. It’s a story of a painting that hung on a wall in a mess hall at Fort Bragg, N.C. And we were reminded, every time we passed, to say a prayer to all who serve our country in times of danger. The painting depicts the inside of a church with the sunlight beaming through a stained-glass window. And in this church were a mother and father, a young son and daughter, kneeling at the alter rail, and you got the impression that this family was praying together one last time before the father was sent off to war. And at the bottom of this painting was a plate with an inscription, Isaiah 6:8 – “And the Lord asked, ‘Who shall I send? Who will go for us?’ And a reply came back, ‘Here am I, send me.’ ”
To this brave young man who paid the ultimate sacrifice, you will never be forgotten by those who once served, and by those who still serve. And to his wife, mother and father, brother and sister, may our prayers forever be with you.
South Lake Tahoe
I strongly support Measure A for the simple reason that I support our children. In this community, you see upgrading going on in every area except our schools – the Gondola area, community college, California Highway Patrol facility, Forest Service building, juvenile detention facility and a new ice arena. Are our students and their education any less important?
Our aging school facilities are in desperate need of upgrading and being equipped with the technology and tools necessary to make it in this modern day world. We need Measure A! District portables are decrepit; high school cafeteria facilities and gymnasiums are inadequate and embarrassing. The Lake Tahoe Unified School District and Superintendent James Tarwater have done a fantastic job of using every dollar they’re given, along with community resources for the good of our students (the new track and field at South Tahoe Middle School), but they need bond money to do the job necessary for the other facilities.
Critics of Measure A cite raised taxes as a major deterrent for supporting this measure. But because of Proposition 13, there is no other way to raise the money we need. The state of California is letting our children down. Traditionally, in this country, school funding comes from property taxes. In a visit to my hometown in New York, I was impressed with the new and upgraded facilities of the high school I attended. I believe the children of Lake Tahoe deserve the same. Although we have chosen to live in this beautiful, healthy environment, I don’t think that has to mean we give up quality facilities for our children. Without Prop 13, we would be paying higher taxes and would not need to be voting on a school bond. The state of California knows the limitations of Prop 13, which is why they offer “matching” grant monies. Translated, this means raise the money locally or lose the grant money. LTUSD has secured $15.4 million in state monies.
Perhaps in another 40 years, our kids will be faced with another school bond measure. Let’s hope we taught them a positive civics lesson from Measure A. Please vote yes on Measure A.
South Lake Tahoe