Police and firefighters true American heroes
We are responding to a letter of Nov. 15. Our servicemen of all races and religion will always be our No.1 heroes.
We definitely would not have what we have today without them.
We live in a small community where we have a volunteer fire department. They are not paid, so we don't classify this as a job. Right?
Our firemen and fireladies, most all of whom are veterans, put their lives on the line every time there is a fire call. Believe us, they are our heroes too. The same goes for our policemen who respond to any emergency.
In case the writer of that letter didn't realize it, the president declared the September 11 attack on the United States an act of war against the United States. These firemen and policemen were every bit heroes, and what about the men of Flight 93 who were brave and fought off the terrorists and saved many lives.
Were they not heroes too? We think they did and always should have an American flag draped on their coffins. God bless America and all those who unselfishly gave their lives Sept. 11, 2001.
A big salute to our military of yesterday, today and tomorrow. Our prayers are with them. They are doing a great job.
The letter-writer should remember if he ever has a member of his family trapped in a house fire or needs a policeman, he can call 911 and they will always be there for him.
X Ms. Graham is president of the Jackson Township Firemen's Auxiliary. The letter was also signed by seven other members.
Family 'treasure' helped many in times of need
I am a former resident of Youngstown, and, thanks to my sister, I check The Vindicator's web site from time to time. I can't tell you how delighted I was to read the story of Friedl Polk Fisher in the Sunday, Nov. 11, edition.
How fitting that you chose to run the article on Veterans Day.
Friedl has been a family friend and family treasure for many years. In addition to the list of her career accomplishments, she also cared for my grandfather, David Fish, when he became housebound due to illness. That was in the 1940s. Later she helped my mom and dad when they had various illnesses over the years. She'd help my mom take a bath or make sure my dad was following the doctor's orders. She would stop in after her own long day's work.
Indeed, she is one of the most caring, compassionate people I have ever known. When I visit Youngstown, I try to visit her as often as possible.There are so many people with whom she keeps in contact. She never runs out of stories to tell or pictures to show.
And, yes, she was a good cook. I can attest to that. Her wonderful herring salad comes to mind!
Thanks for sharing our treasure with the rest of Youngstown. It is a recognition that is long overdue.
LYNN FREEMAN SKOLNICK
Kiamesha Lake, N.Y.
Residency laws are good for cities, should not be repealed by Legislature
State Rep. Larry Flowers, D-Canal Winchester, has introduced a bill this year in the Ohio House to eliminate the residency laws that most Ohio cities have for their employees.
Rep. Flowers stated in a recently published article that "At one time residency requirements were considered a matter of public safety, because in the event of an emergency, off-duty firefighters and police officers could be recalled and respond quickly."
Although he is referring to city safety forces, this bill would pertain to all employees. It has long been a requirement that if you work for a city, you live in that city. In addition it has long been a practice that to apply for a position in a city you must first reside in that city. The latter seems to be ignored of late.
Representative Flowers seems to have overlooked another important issue.
My city, Girard, like many others in this area is in a bad financial way. The one thing that a city can control to an extent is its tax revenue.
Each city employee who works in one city but lives in another, causes the loss of needed tax monies.
They will not buy, own or rent a house in that city. Any property tax that would be delivered from their residency is lost. Any taxes that would have been collected from gas, electric, phone, cable, etc. usage is lost.
So. for example, if you do not live in Girard you probably will not spend your paycheck there.
If you do not live in Girard, then you cannot vote on things that might affect your employment.
The Girard Board of Education is already doing this. The Superintendent, principals and teachers are taking a lot of public money out of the city to spend elsewhere.
If you work for a city and take a paycheck and benefits from that city, then you should be living in that city.
The Girard City Recreation Department requires any adult using the city gym to be a citizen of Girard. It is amusing that to play in the city of Girard you must live here, but not if you work for Girard.
If Rep. Flowers' bill were to be enacted, consider what might happen What would prevent someone from anywhere in the state running for office in Girard. Remember if this bill passes you won't have to live here.
Although I strongly disagree with this, it would make for some interesting elections. I really cannot see local politicians letting this happen, but it sure would take the politics out of politics.
If you agree that city residence laws are needed and are a good thing, then let your state representatives know your feelings. You can rest assured that those who oppose a residency law will be pushing to put an end to it.
Remember that it is your tax dollars that are leaving your city and that somewhere else is reaping the benefits from it.
Peace-time enlistees also deserve nation's thanks
Since the September 11 attacks on our country, a wave of patriotism has swept the land. People have honored those who died in the attacks and the military who served in the wars. You hear veterans speaking on television and in the newspapers about how they no longer feel forgotten, even those who served in Korea and Vietnam.
But there is a group of veterans who served in all branches of the military but remain forgotten for the service they rendered to our country. Their time in the military was no less important than anybody else's because they were there to answer the call to defend this country. But even among veterans and their organizations they are treated as second class people.
Who are these unnamed and forgotten veterans? They are the men and women who were either drafted or volunteered for duty in the military in peacetime. They fought no battles, won no wars, were awarded no decorations, but yet they served their time and waited for the call that never came.
So when remembering our veterans and our heroes, maybe we should at times pause and give thanks to the people who gave their time to serve in the peace-time military and made sure that our nation's defenses were always manned. Had they not served and shown foreign nations the American people's willingness to defend themselves, we might not enjoy the freedoms we have today.
JAMES D. VAUGHN II
X The writer was formerly a U.S. Army private in peace-time service.