Letters to the editor on JFK, Gettysburg Address, Kilroy, bus accident, KU cheer

11/22/2013 12:00 AM

11/21/2013 5:35 PM

Sad time that won’t be forgotten

Fifty years ago, I was doing my duty as a young soldier at the National Guard Armory on West Douglas. My first sergeant came to me where I was working in the supply room and told me to go out front and lower the flag to half-staff and then go home. He said our president had been assassinated. It was a very sad time and will never be forgotten.



JFK’s legacy

During a speech at Lawrence Stadium on Oct. 22, 1960, then-Sen. John F. Kennedy told the crowd: “Everything that you deal with in this state is tied up with our position in the world. The food we grow, the airplanes we build or do not build, the oil that we take out of the ground, the resources that we develop, the businesses that are maintained, the jobs that we provide, the security that we give to our older citizens, the kind of education we give our children, the sense of motion in this state, the sense of motion in the United States.” Before his speech ended, JFK said that America needs “vigor.” I believe JFK’s legacy is that he inspired a nation to “stay in motion” to fulfill the goals of happiness, peace and prosperity. We lack that in today’s world.



Democracy struggle

For those of us who feel that Americans are somehow better at democracy than those in the Arab world, reading the Gettysburg Address reminds us of our own struggle with democracy. It is something to consider before passing judgment on their frequent failures.

It takes more than an election to create a democracy. You need a firm belief in equality and liberty.



Driver at fault

It is absolutely incomprehensible that a letter writer said the county shared the blame for floodwater pushing a school bus over a bridge (“Require guardrails,” Nov. 10 Letters to the Editor). The Douglass school bus driver ignored common sense and, as reported, the specific instructions to not cross the bridge if flooded. Even if that particular bridge had railings, the result of the driver’s action could have been the same or worse, with added damage to the bridge structure and bus and increased injuries to its occupants.

Vehicles go over and through guardrails in this country daily, no matter what their design or construction, even without the added element of running water. The force of running water against a vehicle, especially one as large as a school bus, is huge.

There are a large number of similarly constructed bridges in this country, and they are used safely on a daily basis. There is not enough money in the world to idiot-proof everything.

This bus driver is solely responsible. He should have been fired almost immediately and criminally charged with endangering the lives of the children in his charge and those of the people involved in rescuing the bus occupants. He should also be held financially responsible for the destruction of public property, the rescue and recovery of the vehicle, and the damage to the environment.



Don’t forget Kilroy

The Honor Flights for World War II veterans are about over; there are not many of us left who are able to go.

The World War II Memorial at Veterans Memorial Park has only a few bricks left to be put in.

Kilroy is smiling down from his place of honor on the memorial. The younger generation may wonder who Kilroy was. He was the only thing to see action in every theater of war. I doubt if he is mentioned in schoolbooks, and if a teacher is asked who he is, he may not know or care.

Kilroy was my hero. He was everywhere first, signing his autograph, “Kilroy was here.”

Even though he and most of us from WWII are gone, please don’t let his name perish. Kilroy and Medal of Honor recipients Richard Cowan and Father Emil Kapaun are in place at the memorial, along with the names of a lot more American heroes on the bricks.

Don’t forget our troops and Kilroy.



Cheer not tasteless

A Lawrence Journal-World editorial excerpted in The Eagle should really irritate every Kansas City Chiefs fan everywhere (Nov. 18 Kansas Views).

I agree that University of Kansas basketball fans should probably not shout “home of the Chiefs” at the end of the national anthem. After all, everyone knows that they are the Jayhawks, not the Chiefs. However, as a Chiefs season-ticket holder for more than two decades, I do not think the editorial had any right to condemn me as being repugnant, shameful and tasteless for doing the exact same thing at all Chiefs home games.

This is a tradition that has been followed for decades and will continue for decades to come. This is simply a method of expressing our loyalty, respect and pride to the Chiefs organization. Additionally, it seems ironic that this kind of commentary would come from the city of Lawrence, given, as everyone knows, that it knows nothing about the game of football.



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