Forum, Oct. 5: Give Our Veterans Respect on Nov. 11

Thursday, October 04, 2018
Give Our Veterans Respect on Nov. 11

Give peace a chance, sure, but give our veterans respect (“Give Peace a Chance in Hartford on Nov. 11,” Sept. 26).

Veterans Day began as Armistice Day on Nov. 11, 1919, not to celebrate war but to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the end of World War I and to honor those who served their country — our country — in that war. In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower officially changed the name from Armistice Day to Veterans Day. Different name, same purpose: Celebrate the end of war and honor those veterans (alive or dead) who’ve served the United States of America. To disrupt or hinder the activities of remembrance on Veterans Day is simply disrespectful to those who deserve our respect the most.

I proudly volunteer and work part time at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2571 in White River Junction. I’ve met many war veterans. Not one celebrates war. I have war veterans in my family. Not one celebrates war. In fact, they rarely speak of their time in the war, whichever war that may have been. By and large, veterans do not advocate for war. They do not like war. They are scarred by war. They’ve witnessed horrors we can’t imagine so we didn’t have to.

But they answered the call of their country and served with honor to defend our country and its beliefs.

The time this great peace demonstration is to take place is the very time when our veterans hold their ceremony to remember those who’ve served their country, as well as those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice. Please don’t sully and ruin this day of honor for our citizens who’ve given the most for our country, and for us.

Perhaps the demonstration would be more appropriate on Election Day, when the people who dictate the decisions about war actually care what their citizens think.

Christina Scott-Smith

White River Junction

Nothing Uncivilized About the Process

I am offended by the suggestion in a recent Forum letter that the neighborhood opposition to the proposed construction of a 21,000-square-foot church on Greensboro Road in Hanover, with a one-acre paved and lighted parking lot, is somehow “uncivilized” (“In Search of a Civilized Reconciliation,” Sept. 22).

I think the process has been the epitome of how civilized society should function: We have rules and laws in town, and impartial boards that are charged with interpreting and upholding them. All parties can make their voices heard and their concerns known. There is no angry mob with pitchforks trying to drive the church members out of town.

I want to be perfectly clear that our opposition to the Christ Redeemer Church proposal has nothing to do with the fact that they are proposing to build a house of worship. We believe a building of that size, attracting more than 400 people into our quiet residential neighborhood, will fundamentally alter its character for the worse.

This will not be a “once-a-week” meeting place. The church website (christredeemerchurch.org) shows scheduled events almost every day — many in the early morning or evening hours. The church also plans an “annual conference that draws ... students from all over the states of Vermont and New Hampshire” and “regular men’s retreats and seminars ... with hundreds of men in attendance.”

We are also concerned that the engineering tools do not exist to adequately guarantee that our properties, and the environmentally sensitive Mink Brook corridor, will not be damaged by increased runoff and flooding. Our neighborhood has suffered from flooding due to increased development and we have little confidence that another development won’t make the situation worse.

As for the suggestion that we might enjoy a place to walk our dogs once the “campus” is built, I’ll say, “thanks, but no thanks.” I am not interested in taking my dog for walks on an acre of pavement. I already have a place to walk my dog — it’s called my neighborhood.

Jeffrey Acker


November Will Be An Uphill Battle

Donald Trump has been in office about 20 months. He is firmly on track to become the worst president in our country’s history.

Nearly all he has done has taken America backward.

He has searched the swamp to find the worst people to appoint to important positions.

His policies are reversing progress toward a cleaner environment.

His tax bills enrich the wealthiest at the expense of middle class and working people, while expanding the national debt. (Once upon a time, Republicans worried about that debt. No longer.)

He has pointlessly taken the United States out of valuable international agreements, alienated U.S. allies and supported dictators.

He has encouraged racial and ethnic bigotry, especially toward immigrants.

He is trying to eliminate women’s right to make their own reproductive choices and he wants to take health insurance from millions of people.

And his foreign policy has made us less secure.

Perhaps worst of all has been the despicable cruelty shown toward refugees and asylum-seekers at our borders, taking even very small children away from their parents and caging them indefinitely, often in private prisons.

Of course, Trump has not done all this by himself. Republicans in Congress could have stood up for the American people and stopped much of the harm, but they have not done so.

Instead, whether motivated by fear or greed, they have tamely followed their leaders down these wrong paths. And many of their policies, like taking from the poor to benefit the rich, were Republican standards even before Trump came on the scene.

Fortunately, millions of Americans have organized to defend our rights and work for progress. With Republicans controlling all branches of government, this is an uphill battle. But elections do matter, and so long as we can, and do, vote, they can help to change the picture.

This November, citizens could do a lot to reduce the power of the right. I hope that New Hampshire and Vermont will be among the leaders in doing just that.

John Lamperti


Pizza, Salad Helped Power Volunteers

Those of us who live and work in the Upper Valley are fortunate to be surrounded by generous community members.

An example of that generosity played out recently when a group of nonprofit service providers hosted a volunteer training at the Howe Library in Hanover. Volunteers were trained to be “Energy Advocates” to help educate their communities about the concept of energy burden and the assistance that is available to income-eligible households for heat, electricity and weatherization projects.

We were thrilled to have 19 volunteers attend the training. Volunteers were treated to pizza and salad that was generously donated by four Upper Valley businesses: Lebanon Village Pizza, Three Tomatoes in Lebanon, Ramuntos in Hanover, and C&A Pizza in Hanover. We thank these community-minded businesses for making a difference and spreading good will in the Upper Valley.

Angela Zhang

Listen Community Services

Paige Heverly

Vital Communities

Diane Root

United Valley Interfaith Project

Lynne Goodwin

Lebanon Human Services