Sacrifices of the brave made freedom possible in Iraq
I have never thought of the sacrifice of the men, women and children here and abroad as being in vain. There hasn't been a day gone by that I haven't asked God to be with the brave men and women in the military and their families who watch their loved ones leave to go in harm's way, not knowing whether they would return or not, fighting for a freedom in Iraq. Fighting for the same freedom that we have right here in the U.S.A. The same freedom that some of us take for granted.
I don't have all the answers (and don't pretend to) but I do have questions.
Remember when you complained about: waiting in line to vote (a whole half hour); "it's raining out and I'm not dodging the rain drops"; "I have no way to get to the polls and my one vote won't make a difference"?
My response to you: The Iraqi people have waited 50 years to vote with more than one name on the ballot, they waited in line for hours, the Iraqi people dodged bullets and car bombs, the Iraqi people, young and old, walked for miles and every vote cast that night was a thank you to all who sacrificed in any way.
The giving of one's life is the ultimate sacrifice (the highest and final) one can give. Again I say "their lives were not given in vain."
We all saw history in the making that night. I for one was so proud. A big step forward was taken. A clear sign that any country beaten down and oppressed can now have hope. I pray that they too will take that first step.
The sacrifices made by the brave made this happen and I pray that it continues to move forward.
Put our country first
The budget deficit our federal government has incurred under George Bush's administration has reached Biblical proportions and is climbing. Occupying two hostile countries (Iraq, Afghanistan), huge tax cuts to the wealthy, loss of good-paying jobs, all contributed to this deficit.
With this in mind George Bush's push to initiate the first phase to eliminate Social Security with ill-conceived private saving accounts will add $1 trillion to $3 trillion to the deficit. When asked how he would cover the cost the private accounts will incur on Social Security, George said and I quote "We will borrow." What is peculiar about all this is the silence from the conservatives. Are they silent because any criticism of George Bush is tantamount to treason within the party? Fiscal responsibility has always been a basic for conservatives as well as moderates. This deficit is so huge that our grandchildren will not be able to pay it off.
In closing, all I can say is, conservatives need to realize our country's well-being takes priority over George Bush's and their party's ego. Step up to the plate and voice your concerns, because right now your silence is deafening.
JAMES C. K. FELL
First Nights help each other
In response to the letter "One First Night is enough," I would first like to commend the writer for appreciating the value of First Night, a nonalcoholic celebration of the arts. This community event has been held in Canfield since New Year's Eve 1999. Several years later, First Night Canfield had the honor of supporting the start of First Night Youngstown and this year we supported the start of First Night Salem.
Attendance at the three local First Nights has given thousands of people the opportunity to share a safe evening of celebration with friends and relatives while supporting many fine local artists and entertainers. Our local First Night organizations should be held up as one of the best examples of sharing in the community since they include patrons from Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties who have the option of choosing where they would like to attend.
We encourage other communities to examine the benefits of First Night and will be happy to assist in their start up.
First Night Canfield