Forum for June 4, 2024: Remember May 1

Published: 06-04-2024 4:11 PM

Remember May 1 and protests past

Since the May 1 debacle at Dartmouth College, there have been letters to the editor, editorials and opinion pieces by professors, editorial staff and common sense individuals on both sides of the Connecticut River. As a Dartmouth alum, I, too, was appalled by the heavy-handed response by President Sian Beilock. She is likely waiting out these last few weeks until graduation and the term’s end so that students will go home and forget what happened.

I hope they will not forget.

Over 50 years ago, my college classmates and I protested the Vietnam War. We marched peacefully. And despite the Story County Grand Jury declaring that we Iowa State University students were corrupt for protesting, the university offered students a remarkable gift: a chance to make our education real. Allowed to take early exams or grades with our professors’ blessings, we could instead attend lectures for the remainder of the term in all aspects of the Vietnam War: History, philosophy, politics, economics, sociology, psychology, literature, geography. The list went on. Our professors offered us a greater understanding of all aspects of this war and how it affected our lives, our country, Vietnam and other key players. That year I came to learn the priceless value of education. Most college students, even high school students, want their opinions heard and are eager for discussion and information. Dartmouth failed to give students that chance to gain knowledge and insight, to question and reflect. Dartmouth failed to recognize the values inherent in forming arguments and debates.

Gaza is not Vietnam, but wars are human tragedies that need to be processed. That spring so many years ago even taught me how to be a better educator. I never forgot. President Beilock will not be forgotten, either.

Mary Erdei


The National Guard’s
appalling role at border

Every day my dander is up with the news and I internally write to the editor to comment. I restrain myself as I am sure there are other people who will comment on whatever story that caused my blood pressure to rise. However, I have not seen a letter regarding the New Hampshire National Guardsmen who have been sent to the USA/Mexico border (“ ‘We have to adapt every night to every scenario’ ”; May 7).

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I am shocked and appalled to read that the National Guard’s orders. Lt. Ryan Camp told a reporter that “They cannot arrest or detain migrants. They cannot even give them water.” I guess whoever gave the order never read Matthew 25:40-45. I wonder howCamp feels when he takes a drink of water. This is a shameful assignment from our government.

Which leads me to my second comment. If anyone believes one word from the mouth of Benjamin Netanyahu, more fool you. Per CNN and other national news outlets on May 27, regarding the deaths of 45 Palestinians and the devastation of another 200 (only killing two of their targets), Netanyahu called the deadly Israeli airstrike on a camp for displaced people in Rafah a “tragic mistake.” Really ? I know this is not the intent of those who identify as Jewish, but rather a corrupted Israeli government and its dictators and the efforts of the Zionists.

I pray for an end to both these terrible responses to people who simply want a better life and a safe place to live.

Virginia Irwin

New London