Have we forgotten the day two years ago when the planes crashed and the towers fell? Many brave men and women died trying to help protect the innocent. Heroes all, 343 firefighters, 37 port authority police officers, 23 New York Police Department officers, 125 soldiers and civilians at the Pentagon, and 3,000 innocent people in the buildings and the planes died that day.
Men and women from all over the country pulled together to help. We gave our money and our blood. We searched together; we prayed together; we mourned together. We promised we would never forget.
Today our men and women of the armed services have taken the war to the terrorists and those who supported them. In unbearable heat, they still fight and die in Iraq and Afghanistan. They stand guard in Germany, in Korea, in the United States, and all over the world. They are still in danger wherever they serve.
Please remember the sacrifices of our armed services and their families. Remember, also, those men and women of our law enforcement and fire services who continue to put their lives on the line every time they go to work. Remember the sacrifices of their families and the sacrifice of these public servants who have made that ultimate sacrifice for our safety.
Take a moment on Sept. 11 to think about these fallen heroes and those who continue to serve and to say a prayer for them. Thank a soldier, a sailor, a fireman, a paramedic, a cop. Every day, they put their lives on the line for us. Remember them and what they do for us.
That September day, we promised we would never forget. Let's honor that sacred commitment.
DENNIS A. VANWEY
The Toledo Public Schools and its self-serving administrators and school board members have tried to pull off one of the greatest dupes of all times.
The TPS system has rallied around the idea of state-of-the-art schools without even being able to provide rudimentary educational services to its students. Then they cry “poor” so that people will feel obligated to pass the next levy.
Perhaps they should fix the schools before they attempt to build new ones to mask their deficiencies in educating our students.
I taught at TPS about five years ago. There were some wonderful educators. But, there were other things I saw that were appalling.
I taught at Jones Junior High as a substitute for a couple of months. I was told I could not assign homework, for the kids were not to be trusted to take their books out of the building.
In one of my methods classes, I saw an educator whose lessons, day in and day out, consisted of having students copy notes from a transparency, never to have the notes explained or even discussed. This particular educator had excelled and was at one point in an elevated position in TPS.
Perhaps less attention should be placed on budget cuts, self-serving statistics, and new schools, and more emphasis should be placed on truancy (mandatory jail terms for parents of repeat offenders), educational policies, and outside-source teacher evaluations to provide students with the level of education they deserve.
New schools will not change nor mask the shambles that TPS is in. Fixing what is broken without spending more money is the answer.
RYAN J. GERACE
It is common knowledge that the purpose of a criminal sanction, such as a prison sentence, is to deter would-be criminals from wrongdoings.
The punishment is meant as a warning to the public that breaking the law will not be tolerated and that doing so will result in unfavorable consequences.
How is it, then, that charging a 41-year old woman (whose only “crime” was volunteering to drive children to a church picnic) with vehicular manslaughter will prevent - or even help to prevent - the inevitable reality of passenger fatalities?
My friends, this could have been you or me on any given day, running any given errand. Certainly she did not set out that day to end the precious life of a 10-year-old girl.
Exactly when was it that car accidents stopped being just that - accidents.
It makes absolutely no sense that the public has to be protected, by law, from secondhand smoke for the few hours they spend in a restaurant - which they chose to patronize - and yet it is okay for millions of children - who have no choice - to be reared in tobacco smoke-filled homes for the many years of their childhood and adolescence.
DR. DALE MULL
Another reason for me to look outside Toledo and Lucas County for my next home: Elected officials spend our tax dollars as if they belong to them.
It seems that no one in our local government cares or knows about misuse of government property until caught, and then every excuse is used to justify thievery.
Maybe the voters of Toledo and Lucas County should vote out all of our current officials and start over, including the school board members who are doing such a bang-up job.
I admire the Republicans in California for initiating this recall effort against a leader who has driven the state into its current condition: jobs lost, record deficits, and record spending.
Wait a minute. That sounds familiar. Since George W. Bush took office as President of the United States, similar events have taken place: 2.7 million jobs lost, a deficit of more than $300 billion, increases in the national debt limit, weakest economic growth under a president in 50 years.
This record is remarkably similar to that of Gov. Gray Davis. The only difference is that Mr. Bush has done it in two years, while it took Mr. Davis four.
But I bet the Republicans wouldn't support a recall of President Bush. That wouldn't be democratic. After all, he was selected by a majority of the Supreme Court.
North Haven Avenue
I cannot prove that sports writer Dave Hackenberg is wrong in his suggestion that the fans did not come out to the Jamie Farr tournament because they were bored with the format. And it is clear that he respects the tournament and values its contribution.
But with our economy in the toilet and the PGA tournament being played at the same time, having the attendance figures off a few thousand should not be unexpected.
Whether attendance is up or down, however, he makes some good points, and knowing Judd Silverman and the others who help bring this event here every year, they will give serious consideration to his proposals and those that anyone else presents to them.
The problem with assessing the success of a particular event is that you only know what happened, not what might have happened had the people involved not done the fine job they did. Things could have been worse.
RICHARD M. KERGER
I read Richard Kerger's Saturday Essay about our founders and religion. I know Richard personally, and I like him. He is a top-grade attorney.
But he must have been deep into his Christmas grog when he wrote about the National Christmas Tree not being a Christian symbol. It may be true that Santa Claus is a fairy tale, but the Christmas tree celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ.
Maybe when Richard comes out of his daze, he will realize how wrong he was when he wrote about it.
LOUIS J. HATTNER