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Letters to the Editor for Friday, June 26

Your Voice

Keep emotion, political correctness out of the discussion over statues

As a veteran, the controversy surrounding Confederate monuments and military posts honoring Confederate generals has a significant meaning for me. It provoked deep thought and soul searching as I defined my position on these issues.
I found the answer in the Oath of Enlistment I took nearly 50 years ago. Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee, two among many, betrayed their oath when the Confederate States of America was established. By doing so, they committed treason against the United States.
Abraham Lincoln defied tradition, the law and popular sentiment by sparing the lives of traitors and granting them freedom from prosecution. It was an extraordinarily courageous decision following a bitter, savage Civil War fought to the last desperate measure. I consider this magnanimous gesture to be the ultimate and the limit of tribute to the Confederacy.
Preservation of artifacts is an essential discipline of archaeologists and historians. The search by mankind for origin and identity has suffered enough from conceited, righteous and self-serving ignorance. We must end this cycle of censure regardless of our values and beliefs.
The selection of names for military installations has to be deliberate and impartial. To allow emotion and political correctness to dominate would be a travesty. If you don’t have a DD-214 with your name on it; stay out of it.
We owe it to Abraham Lincoln to rally around one flag as one people for the common good and the future of our country.
Mark Rahn

Praise Cuomo except when it comes to nursing homes

You can praise Gov. Cuomo all you want, and he deserves it, except for one very important issue. He has given no reason or explanation to families who have waited for over three months to visit their loved ones in nursing homes. How much longer do we have to wait? Why is it everything else has opened and not nursing homes? Give us some insight as to why nursing homes have been singled out of the opening process. We were never given a reasonable explanation.
I want to know when I can visit my 88 year old husband in a nursing home. Or, at least I want to know why I can’t visit him.
Beverly Buddle

BLM protesters flout stay-at-home orders

The many people who died because of coronavirus were denied burials with families because of the contagion risk. Death is a sad time and not being able to grieve with family and friends adds to the sadness and loneliness.
Who knew you only had to be a victim of Black Lives Matter to change this policy. Three funerals attended by thousands crowded in together and yet there were no restrictions.
Americans could not even go to church and stay in their cars or they were given $500 fines. Here all were encouraged to attend for some reason. Coronavirus was no longer a problem. Of course, it is because the Democrats found something to try and boost their thinking and to alienate more Americans. A not-very-subtle coup attempt by the Democrats, how else to explain this and the thousands of looters on the streets while loyal, honest Americans can hardly shop?
Geraldine Krawitz
Saratoga Springs

Removal of Confederate symbols far overdue

It’s well past the time to remove the remaining vestiges of the Confederate States of America from public view. Statues to commemorate the Confederacy were erected well after the meeting at Appomattox where Lee surrendered to Grant. The South was on the wrong side of history, yet the United Daughters of the Confederacy promoted this “Lost Cause” as something glorious instead of an insurrection by organized terrorists. Humans that were forced to work and traded like chattel, represented a good deal of the economic value of the Confederacy. The prospect of losing approximately half of the total wealth of the South was reason enough to go to war from the South’s perspective. The northern states were not without blame as well. After war the loser doesn’t get to write the history books. Davis, Lee and all of the deciders should have been tried for treason and if found guilty, executed. Instead, they were honored with statues, even though they were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of soldiers on both sides. The names of the generals should remain in the history books as a reminder of the lengths that “good Christian people” went to in the attempt of preserving a morally bankrupt system that is a stain on the U.S. Constitution to this day. States that continue to have the Confederate flag as part of their state flag need a new design. The United States must put this shameful past in perspective in order to move forward. Finally.
Thomas Benson

Frugality worked back then; it’s still a good way today

“Use it up, wear it out, make do or do without.” That’s how we lived many years ago. It’s still a good way.
My father taught me, “they always have money for beer and cigarettes” and “keep yourself out of debt” it’s still true. I got all these lessons while he was getting breakfast on the wood stove at the old homestead.
Then after breakfast we all went to work or to school, we walked.
“A hungry man works best” it was said, still true, only now they are in food lines, with cars not paid for.
I worked in the woods before the days of chainsaws and also got hay for the livestock and my horse. I loved all the animals and still do.
Eunice Kilmer

Thanks for printing old photo of my father

Imagine my delightful surprise on June 1, my 80th birthday, when I received an email from a good friend, Douglas Horstmyer, Director of Public Affairs at Albany International Airport, containing a picture of my late father, Phil Rapp, former general manager of Fabian Theaters in Schenectady, whose office was located on the balcony floor of Proctor’s Theater. On May 31, my son, Daniel, had orchestrated a birthday video at my home in Columbia, Maryland, highlighting many of my relatives and friends, some of whom still reside in the Schenectady area: cousins Bruce and Donna Rapp, David and Richel Blackmore, Allyssa Provost, Robyn Stone, and my Aunt Lolly Pollack, and my friend, Ellis Gershon.
The unexpected but timely photo of my father, with World War II veterans, helping to promote the movie “The Bridge at Remagen,” gave me the sixth-sense impression that my father didn’t want to miss being in the limelight with all my other relatives. In fact, he literally stole the show. How he appeared on this very special day for me will be a memory I will never forget. Somehow, he spiritually teamed up with the Gazette editorial staff to accomplish this, unbeknownst to everyone.
Harvey M. Rapp, Ph.D.
Columbia, Maryland, formerly of Schenectady

Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

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