Letters - March 26

Show respect

I am writing in response to the anti-war protest held at Overlook Park on the 20th of this month.

I believe that everyone has the right to their own opinion. People also have the right to protest their views. However, to protest against war on a memorial which honors veterans is completely disrespectful. Many of those patriots have died defending our country, and giving us our freedom.

I ask the protesters this: Would you dance and wave your signs at the local graveyard on a veteran’s headstone? To some people you have already done this!

I have many family members and friends who have served in the armed forces, and I couldn’t be prouder of them. As a mother I hope that I can teach my son to have as much courage and honor as our men and women fighting today.

I am outraged with the lack of support and respect for the troops defending our way of life and giving freedom to people of other countries.

So protest all you wish, but don’t disrespect the soldiers who have given you that right!

Angela Gray

Hood River

Support youth

This letter is intended to alert members of our community that April 11-13 is National Youth Service Day 2003. It’s a time to mobilize millions of young Americans to identify and address the needs of our communities through service. It is also an opportunity to recruit the next generation of volunteers. It encourages young people to recognize the value of volunteering and do some kind of community service.

Parents, teachers, coaches, religious leaders and others who connect with young people need to inspire them to participate in some form of community service, not only on this day, but throughout their lives. The payoff is the building of self-esteem on the part of youth. The personal satisfaction of helping others and working on community projects takes on the true meaning of life.

When I was in my early teens, I was involved in collecting newspapers and flattened tin cans for the war drive. I also encouraged people to buy war bonds. That was sixty years ago. My mother, my school and my church were largely responsible for supporting and encouraging me to be an active participant in community service.

I have performed many public service activities since then. I have served as a VISTA volunteer for literacy and served in the Peace Corps in Africa. Presently, I am an AmeriCorps volunteer at the Oregon Veterans Home. I truly believe we are here for the purpose of giving love and assistance to those in need and to everyone for that matter. That’s my mission in life. Make it yours! In that way, one can enjoy a beautiful life experience.

Join the crusade on National Youth Service Day, April 11-13. Experience how great life is — and how much greater it will be if we encourage the next generation to participate in volunteerism by involving young people in community service.

Roger C. Allen


Grand delusions

In the aftermath of 911, we had the support of the international community. Progressively and exponentially we have offended a majority of these nations and bullied our way into international isolation. As we grow more isolated from the global community, the less open we seem to be towards considering events from a global perpective. Personally, I’m tired of being spoon fed U.S. supremacy from corporate media and the Bush administration. I shudder to hear our leaders humiliate and chastise UN members who disagree with us. I feel disheartened by the media’s unilateral and one-dimensional view of a three-dimensional situation. It appears Bush’s political ideology is all that matter and all that exist. I don’t know what this is termed in politics, but in the realm of mental illness it is called Delusions of Grandeur.

Amy Ackerman

Hood River

Support our troops

How are you supposed to promote peace by using violence? All of these “peace protesters” breaking windows, causing damage to things, and fighting other people don’t seem to be peaceful. How is that peace. Seems to me you are making war against each other not promoting peace with each other.

Tammy Garcia


Take on Saddam

I want to proudly take a stand behind our president who is one of the most courageous and focused men to date. The fact that I think of him as courageous has nothing to do with Iraq or Saddam Hussein but the principles we try to teach our own children ... stand up for what you believe in ... don’t lets others persuade you ... and don’t stand in the middle. I don’t teach my child to fight but I want her to simpathize with others who suffer and have the willingness and bravery to stand up to the bullies and do something about it. I don’t really mind the protests, everyone has the right to an opinion and not everyone was raised in a family of servicemen or servicewomen. But, unless you want to go over personally and shake Saddam Hussein’s hands and look in his cold eyes and ask him gently and with a very peaceful presence, please Mr. Hussein, get rid of all of your biological warfare, suicide bombers, and chemical warfare, you know, the ones you just absolutely know he doesn’t have, please at least stand behind the flag of freedom. We live in different times now with different threats arriving everyday. If you don’t want your peaceful life and absolutely wonderful existence disrupted, then please stay seated and keep your head buried. Are any of you protesters signed up for the peace corp or red cross? If so, I commend you and stand behind you too. If not, maybe you should put your money where your mouth is and sign up for something that will further your cause! If you are one of the hopefully few, who have burned one of our American flags, may you quickly and peacefully, make your way out of our country because you don’t deserve to live here. I am ashamed of you! I also want to thank the brave men and women of every other country fighting for our world’s freedom.

I hear of so much torture all around the world. If we don’t stand up for those people who live in constant fear of sadistic dictators like Saddam Hussein and guerillas like Osama Bin Laden, who is going to take the job, YOU? It’s one thing to want peace and another to fight for it. I am so proud of our men and women all over the world fighting for freedom for all peoples. I know I really can’t fathom the level of bravery they have, the things they must endure and the loved ones they have to miss everyday they are gone for duty but I can support them 100 percent. God Bless America!

Julie Hamilton

Hood River

Down on protest

As my family and I drove by Overlook Memorial Park and saw the protestors, we were horrified and saddened. My wife cried, I got angry, and our 8-year-old said, “Why doesn’t someone call 9-11?” Two things horrified us the most: the “party” atmosphere, hardly the somber looks of people in distress, but people who appeared to be loving “something.” (Whether it was attention or defiance, I do not know. But they were having a great time.)

The other thing was the upside down flag. In the Hood River News it said that the person waving the upside down flag was meaning to signify that the country is “in distress.” That wasn’t what it signified to my family. It signified a lack of patriotism, and the shamelessness of the demonstrator, similar to flag-burning.

We do not question that our country is in distress. It is in distress because terrorists killed thousands of Americans in the September 11 attacks. It is in distress because we have to live in fear of people who hate ordinary Americans and want to kill us, even those who are demonstrating. We are in distress because people are questioning our government and demoralizing our military forces who are in harm’s way. The September 11 attacks were distressing, but the horror brought Americans together. The horror of the “peace” demonstrations are dividing us and bringing anarchy instead of peace. We are confusing who the “good guys” are and encouraging terrorists and despots around the world. None of us is “for” war. War is a horrible thing. But it was not Americans who started it or who desire it. This war has nothing to do with imperialism or oil. It has to do with evil and the need to respond to it. Let’s get our thinking straight and not “upside down,” like that flag.

Silas Shotwell


Buy American

Everyone is getting a “taste” of what it is like when you rely on foreign countries for something. I’m talking about oil. They’ve got us over the barrel (no pun intended). So, what do you think is going to happen to food prices when we rely solely on imported food? Buy American grown food!

Denise Fischer

Hood River

Saddam is a threat

It was nice to see that Hood River residents held a mature, and peaceful candlelight vigil expressing their oppositions to the war. This unlike Portland and many other cities where city streets where blockaded, windows were broken, and police officers where injured, all in the name of “Peace”

One protestor even killed himself by jumping off the golden gate bridge! The Portland antiwar web site declared: “An antiwar rally is planned for the day the bombing starts — Hopefully this will coincide with people shutting down all government buildings and at least a few bridge closures and major thruways.” Do these people think that lying on the freeway and tying up traffic is going to stop the war? Strange logic. It seems that tying up the police may have in fact taken them away from stopping crime and or terrorist acts in the area. I realize that peace marches have been a tradition since the 1930s and were “cool” in the ‘60s but have they ever been effective in stopping a war? There are more effective, legal, and less obnoxious ways to petition our government. Write to your senators and representatives; write letters to the editor; take out ads in newspapers; better yet, go to Washington, D.C. and take your grievances directly to the White House. Government offices downtown Portland did not make the policies that have sent us to war. I will quote David Reinhard of the Oregonian who reminds us: “Antiwarriors have had months to make their case. They had their chance to influence Congress and the larger public, and they failed. Congress voted with big bipartisan majorities to give president Bush the authority to wage war against Saddam.”

While I don’t necessarily agree with the war, does anyone have a better option? Saddam’s regime is not a peaceful one. Somehow, holding hands and singing “Kum-Ba-Ya” in this case is just not gonna work to remove this dictator who poses a threat to all the world’s peaceful people.

Kristine Wilhelm

Hood River

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