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Special honors due those killed in the line of duty



Published: Mon, November 26, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Special honors due those killed in the line of duty

EDITOR:

This is in response to a recent letter regarding military funerals for firefighters and police.

First of all a large number of firefighters and police are in fact veterans of military service or active members of the reserves. Being such they are entitled to a military funeral no matter what the situation or their job status may be.

I assume that the letter is taking issue with the minority of firefighters and police who have no military service history and die & quot;in the line of duty. & quot;Since we have had no such funerals locally, I further assume that letter's writer is referring to the flag covered bodies of the heroes in New York City.

Again, it is most likely that many of them are veterans. More important, theirs were & quot;line of duty & quot; deaths which allows that type of funeral. Most important, they are heroes.

Firefighters and police take an oath like the one taken upon entry to the military, to serve and protect. It was in answer to that oath that they ran into the World Trades Towers while most ordinary people were running out. Three hundred plus men and women gave their lives willingly to save thousands.

Yes, firefighters and police can quit their jobs and do something else, but few do. Most see the job as a honorable vocation and out of a sense of duty, love of the job and dedication to the public they sometimes sacrifice their lives so others can live.

On Sept. 11,those firefighters and police most definitely knew the risk that was involved and the probable outcome. They could have refused just like a deserting soldier. Instead, they did what every other American firefighter and police officer would have done. They went into harm's way selflessly and paid the ultimate price.

Perhaps these men and women should not have had a military funeral, but no one has come up with protocol for the funeral of a hero. Ask the people whose lives have been touched by these heroes what they deserve in death, and I am sure they would support my opinion.

SILVERIO CAGGIANO

Mineral Ridge

Safety not guaranteed by federal airport security

EDITOR:

Lets see if I understand: We must have government employees checking baggage at our airports -- private companies have failed.

Am I mistaken to be skeptical of claims that government employees will be efficient?

Let's examine the record: a few years ago there was a massive breakdown in the information given on the IRS Hotline at income tax time. Thousands of callers were given the wrong information, resulting in their filing incorrect returns.

For years, the Immigration and Naturalization Service has failed to secure our borders. They were unable to keep track of those who entered on temporary visas. Several of the hijackers on Sept. 11 were still in the country although their student visas had expired.

Finally, the events of Sept. 11 have been called the biggest lapse in Intelligence gathering in our history. Where were the CIA and the FBI?

Perhaps we would be better served by hiring the top security firm in America to hire and train airport workers who were well trained and well paid -- and could be fired if they didn't measure up.

BARBARA PILCHER

Youngstown

Grateful to Boardman group for Airmen of Note

EDITOR:

A very special thanks to the Boardman High School Band and Orchestra Parents for presenting the U.S. Air Force Band Airmen of Note at the beautiful Boardman Performing Arts Center recently.

The Airmen of Note is celebrating its 50th anniversary and is one of the most versatile contemporary big bands in the world today.

Their music created a bond of love for our country and true patriotism.

BETTE HARRIS

Youngstown




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