Letters to the editor: American history more complicated than presented
Re: Reflection on Independence Day (Don Severe, June 30, Summit Daily News).
I was born in another country and moved to this country when I was 2 years old. My father was a U.S. citizen, but my mother was not. My birth certificate reads United States citizen, born of an American parent. I am proud to be an American and would not choose to live in any other country.
I became outraged, however when I read Don Severe’s letter.
To the author: Have you really read the history of the United States of America? You talk about being blinded by today’s divisiveness and corrupt leadership — this has been going on since the beginning of our nation. Many of the founding fathers were slaveowners; they were self-serving, allowing only large landowners to have a vote in the policies of the running of the country. They stole land from the Native Americans and offered them nothing in return. They lied, cheated , etc. to get what they wanted to benefit themselves financially. Things never seem to change — so don’t spew your B.S. In the relatively recent past the political parties worked together for the benefit of the people. Today highly paid lobbyists and highly funded interest groups have purchased Washington. President Obama has a higher approval rating than past President Bush despite Republican Party representatives dissing him, not working with him and making it known immediately upon him taking office that their main goal was for him not to succeed. Was that the best for the overall country? I don’t care if you are a Republican, Democrat or Independent, what we all need to do is get the folks in Washington working for the people and not corporations.
When you say God Bless America, is that at the expense of the rest of the world? We are a country of immigrants and we should continue to honor the words of Emma Lazarus and the poem she wrote that was installed on the Statue of Liberty in 1903: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free. Send these, the homeless tempest-tost to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”
Depending on your perspective I’ve been here for a long time or I’ve just been here for “a while.” Flight For Life has been a constant presence; it’s hard to ignore a helicopter flying overhead. I’ve always thought, ‘man, what a cool job, seeing the world from the air, using rare skills to save lives.’ Things changed last July 3 when the Flights helicopter crashed. For several families their entire world and the arc of their lives changed forever. I never really took Flights for granted; I always understood that some people were in an in extremis life situation and their lives would either be saved or they would at least have the best chance at survival they would ever have. I’m caused to remember four friends, two still with us and I’m thankful for their lives. I wouldn’t tell them; I’d be afraid to sound silly somehow.
I know that people have requested anonymity. They deserve to have their names called. They deserve to have their abilities and service to us who are past, present and future recipients of their skill and courage acknowledged. It would be rude to ignore their very personal request to remain anonymous but we should find a way to say “We know who you are and we want you to know how much you mean to us.”
One definition of courage is to be aware of the risk and the danger and to proceed consciously in the face of possible disaster. The pilots and Flight Nurses and EMTs past, present and future who strap in do so voluntarily knowing the danger; it has to be on their minds. But foremost on their minds has to be the full knowledge that their experience, their skill and their ability can separate anin extremis patient, a stranger, from life and death. Only them.
Nobody “signs up for” the possibility of a crash but it has to be acknowledged as a possible outcome and yet to strap in and rush to save a life…….
I just can not imagine the courage, the skill, the ability. One man survived Vietnam and a career of mountain flying to die a few months short of retirement. Another may eventually get out of the hospital but will likely never resume a normal life. The third man on the helicopter was burned, recovered after months in the burn unit and rehab hospital and is back flying. I just can’t imagine the courage that takes. There were others who ran to the crash scene responding to a call to duty that can only be fully understood by them.
My life has somehow been made better by the presence and by the sacrifice these brave people made knowingly. I always had an appreciation of Flight For Life personnel, much more since last July 3. Any orange ribbon flying anywhere is in appreciation of them. Quoting a long time football coach, “They may not be in a class by themselves but it doesn’t take long to call the roll.”
I can do no less than to be at the memorial dedication on Sunday afternoon to honor them.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.