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Published: Wednesday, 6/12/2002

Too little, too late for Vietnam veterans

As a veteran who served four years in the Marines and two years in Vietnam, I have a response to people critical of the lack of interest in memorials or parades.

When I returned from Vietnam in 1967, my country and most of its citizens did not welcome me home. I was called a killer and criticized for fighting in an unpopular war.

When I was discharged in 1968 I tried to join the Veterans of Foreign Wars. They refused me membership because Congress would not classify Vietnam as a “war.” They have since changed their policy, but they didn't want me then; I don't need them now.

Twenty-five years later, there were parades and celebrations to make up to the Vietnam veteran. Sorry, too little, too late. This should have taken place back in 1967.

I will always support our veterans anywhere they are sent, but don't ask me to participate in your parades or memorial celebrations. I will have no part of it.

JAMES MARKIN

Sylvania

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Can we learn from Ottawa Hills? Certainly Toledo Public Schools could look there as to why their test scores are so high, but one need not go to Ottawa Hills for examples of successful students in the Toledo area.

One could just as easily step into Old West End Academy, smack in the heart of Toledo's inner city, and find students who want to learn, a deeply committed staff of teachers and administrators, strong parental involvement, and test scores above state averages.

Just ask, and you will also find pre-kindergartners reading at the second-grade level, and students willing to converse with you in French. Old West End Academy is a superb example of academic excellence in the city of Toledo and a prime example of what could be possible in all of TPS. The principal, Kathy Gregory, would be more than happy to show off one of the premier schools in the city - with the potential to be one of the premier schools in the state.

MONIQUE L. PRICE

Bentwood Drive

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Recently The Blade stated that people should not try to rewrite history. Apparently, The Blade ignores its own advice when it says that the 1998 Issue 9 vote for the downtown Mud Hens ballpark was not a “yes” or “no” on a [downtown] ballpark but a “yes” or “no” on a sales tax to pay for it.”

I voted “no” on this issue because I believed that Ned Skeldon Stadium was an excellent and superior venue for watching a baseball game and public money would have been better spent in other areas. Many other Mud Hens baseball fans are of the same opinion since the ballpark opened.

The assumption that everyone was in favor of a new downtown ballpark is baseless. The Blade had the resources to poll the public on this issue, but, to my knowledge, did not. Politicians had the opportunity to rewrite the referendum but, rather than risk another defeat, the Lucas County commissioners ignored their constituents and instead hired the Gateway Consulting Group, whose mission was to determine whether a new ballpark was feasible and, if so, recommend a location for it.

What transpired was a charade. Gateway conducted public forums for the reported purpose of gathering input, but never conducted a public poll on these issues according to its written report to the commissioners. Its recommendation for a downtown stadium was made in part because only the downtown location would attract enough luxury suite renters to support the cost of the stadium. The decision to build downtown was made by the board because it wanted “a focal point for Toledo's downtown revitalization project” as stated in the May, 2002, issue of Engineered Systems. The decision was not made with the public's blessing.

THOMAS NAMES

Wendover Drive

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Recently several leading liberals launched a barrage of cheap shots at the administration, claiming that the President knew about planned attacks on the United States and did nothing to stop them. Dick Gephardt even tried to invoke the ghosts of Watergate by asking what the President knew and when he knew it.

The political attack blew up in their faces. The FBI reports were vague, and gave no indication of what action should be taken or where. The agent from the Phoenix office, who noticed that many Arab students were learning to fly, said there was no way to make anything of this prior to 9/11. The “whistle-blower” from Minneapolis, who wanted to check the hard drive used by Zacarias Moussaoui, found that the information she would have obtained made no mention of the attacks of 9/11.

Even after 9/11, some myopic civil libertarians vigorously objected to the profiling of obvious suspects, even those who had suspicious backgrounds and immigration problems. Imagine the firestorm of protest that would have ensued if proactive action had been taken prior to the attacks.

Under cover of the political attack, the administration has unshackled the FBI. Previously, FBI agents could not surf the Web to look for information, nor could FBI investigators simply walk into a public event or a public place to observe ongoing activities. These are things that any other American can do. Most Americans are shocked to find that the FBI had been under such constraints, and the terrorists took advantage of the situation to mount a vicious attack on our country.

Predictably, the civil libertarians are howling. Most Americans, however, happy with the way this administration is conducting itself, know that the protesters are playing politics and trying to have it both ways.

MARIO GOVEIA

West Bancroft Street

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Thirty-five years ago, June 5, 1967, marked the start of the Six Day War.

Thirty-five years ago Israel came extremely close to being annihilated by Syria, Jordan, and Egypt.

Thirty-five years ago the Golan Heights, Judea, and Samaria (known as the West Bank) and Gaza were under the sovereignty of Syria, Jordan, and Egypt. They evicted the U.N. peacekeepers and stood ready to attack.

Thirty-five years ago and before, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt had control over these territories and the ability to create a Palestinian state and house the Palestinian refugees; instead they focused on the destruction of Israel.

Thirty-five years ago the leaders of Israel were prepared to return the captured territories for peace, either completely or with some security border corrections.

Thirty-five years ago the U.N. voted Resolution 242, which provided the withdrawal of Israel to secure and recognized borders.

Thirty-five years ago plus a few months, the Arabs convened in Khartoum and resolved no peace, no recognition, and no negotiations with Israel, further legitimizing Israel's hold on the territories.

Thirty-five years ago, Yasser Arafat and terrorist gangs began their campaign of terror and subversion in Israel and around the world, which included the hijacking of international airlines, cruise boats, the Olympic Games, and even other Arab countries such as Jordan and Lebanon.

These are facts. No political bias, just facts. Please remember all the innocent civilian victims (Jewish and non-Jewish) who perished at the hands of Mr. Arafat and his terror organizations. Remember who has been responsible for 35 years of going through metal detectors in every airport in the world.

SUSAN ZALIOUK

Maumee

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Congratulations to the Five-Points Association and their business sponsors for the beautiful banners on Sylvania Avenue. It shows what people working together can accomplish.

JACK L. BUCHHOP

Sherbrooke Road

Regarding a recent remark on the worth of education (“gobbledygook”), I will borrow a phrase from (former Harvard president) Derek Bok: “If you think education is expensive - try ignorance.”

MARY ROGERS

Perrysburg



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