Memorial Day’s meaning
It is easy to celebrate Memorial Day and allow its true meaning to escape us. Gathering at barbecues with family and friends, Americans often overlook the holiday’s significance.
This year, let us pause on Memorial Day to honor our war dead from decades past and our soldiers overseas today.
Memorial Day was established in 1868 to commemorate those killed in the Civil War. Over time, it came to serve as a day to honor all Americans killed or missing in action in all wars.
Each year around Memorial Day, the Veterans of Foreign Wars distribute millions of poppies in exchange for donations to help needy veterans and their orphans. The poppies have become a national symbol of the sacrifice embodied by those who lost their lives in military service.
As you enjoy your holiday weekend, take time to chat with a veteran, visit a monument or pay tribute to the fallen. Or join others in a national moment of remembrance Monday at 3 p.m.
Let’s put the meaning back into Memorial Day. Our men and women in uniform — and those who served and died before them — deserve no less.
James R. Rowoldt
Sacramento Veterans of Foreign Wars, Department of California
Mallard Fillmore offends
As a veteran with a service-connected disability, I took issue with the Mallard Fillmore “cartoon” on May 27, dissing the Veterans Affairs hospital system.
With any health care operation this size, underfunded and oversubscribed as is the VA, there will be the inevitable screwups, but nothing deserving of that riff of negative humor.
Our government has been willing to send our men and women to war, but not to provide all the necessary money to take care of the ones who come home and need medical attention, whether it is from battle wounds, toxic poisoning like Agent Orange or the nerve-shattering post-traumatic stress disorder. The VA does a pretty good job with the funds it has to work with.
I commend the VA clinic here in San Luis Obispo that has always given me excellent care. By the very nature of this “cartoon,” I would be willing to make a bet that Mallard Fillmore creator, Bruce Tinsley, has never served in America’s armed forces.
Capitalism is the greatest
I would like to respond to Gerald Manata’s letter (“End of capitalism,” May 24). Manata, I forced myself to slog through your letter. I must say, any Berkeley professor would be proud, however, we capitalists see your letter as a hacking attempt at intellectualism. Why? Wrong thinking, that’s why.
Capitalism is the greatest system on the planet. Every attempt at communism has failed. Russia’s little experiment with communism lasted only 70 years and millions died.
If you think capitalism is amassing wealth in small segments of America’s population, get out there and go for it and become part of that small percentage with some jingle in their pockets.
One final thought. If capitalism is so fragile, how did we survive the Great Depression?
Taking care of citizens
Too bad William Alexander (“What’s next?” April 24) didn’t live in San Luis Obispo when the Poly Royal riots took place and almost every business storefront on Foothill Boulevard was smashed, destruction occurred all over town and we were told to stay in our homes for three days! My fence was torn down.
Too bad that Alexander did not live in San Luis Obispo when marauding culprits damaged property all over town and stole children’s pumpkins from yards and smashed them in the middle of streets on Halloween.
Alexander should live in San Luis Obispo today and watch the police round up at 6 a.m. all of the St. Patrick’s Day drunks. This roundup goes on all day.
For years, I was guilty of feeding the ducks, but now I realize we’re doing the ducks harm by enabling them out of their natural environment. Maybe Alexander will understand better if he comes to Laguna Lake and swims in the large amount of duck excrement or wants to drink the water.
I thank the San Luis Obispo City Council and especially the police department for taking such good care of its citizens. That includes all of us, students and town folk alike.
San Luis Obispo
Crime, drugs and guns
I have to strongly disagree with the letter that blames illegal immigrants for bringing crime, drugs and guns across our border (“What’s the big deal?,” May 20).
First, the gun idea is absurd. We sell tens of thousands of guns to illegal immigrants, not vise versa. Second, the crime they bring is associated with the drugs. For example, El Paso, Texas, always ranks as one of the top-three cities for least amount of crime even though it has a huge population of illegal immigrants and is right across from the most dangerous city in Mexico.
Finally, they bring drugs because we want them to. An estimated 25 million Americans spend $65 billion a year on illegal drugs. If they didn’t bring them to us, we would have to go get them ourselves. If we deported every last illegal immigrant, we would still have just as many guns, drugs and crime as we have now. Steve Parks
Thank you, bowlers
A big thank you to the 250-plus bowlers who raised more than $22,000 and enjoyed the Bowl for Kids’ Sake fundraising celebration held on March 7 at Cal Poly Mustang Lanes. All event proceeds go directly to supporting our youth mentoring programs in SLO County.
The beach-themed event, sponsored by Charles Schwab, Woodstock’s Pizza, J. Carroll and San Luis Trust Bank, was a reward for the bowlers who performed an excellent job fundraising. The lanes were filled from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. with bowlers receiving complimentary bowling, pizza and T-shirts. Thanks to the 26 local businesses who donated prizes for raffle drawings that added to the fun-filled day.
The event would not have been possible without the generous backing of our pipeline and ripple effect sponsors: American General Media, Andre Morris & Buttery, Ardor Consulting, Bend Chiropractic, Brezden Pest Control, Claire Vollmer Century 21, Novo/Chow, Founders Community Bank, Holiday Inn Express, KCOY, Mission Community Bank, OEC Inc., Puma Aquatic Team and SESLOC Federal Credit Union.
On behalf of the families we serve, thank you.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Luis Obispo County
Recently, we were exposed to the epitome of hypocrisy when Mexican President Felipe Calderon came to our country and criticized the new immigration law passed in Arizona.
How can this man have the unmitigated gall to bad-mouth our treatment of illegal immigrants when his country’s treatment of illegal immigrants caught by the police is so much harsher than what happens here?
He freely admitted that Mexican police routinely demand identification from persons they suspect of being in their country illegally. Those determined to be in Mexico illegally face penalties up to and including imprisonment upon their first conviction.
Of equal concern should be our president’s total agreement with President Calderon’s criticism of our country. This had to be a low point in our country’s history.
Stanley D. Schaffer