As a World War II vet, born on the edge of World War I ( December 1917), the patriotic drive of the citizens of U.S.A. during the late '30s and early '40s was most impressive. We had a unified country headed for an outstanding victory.
During the Vietnam years and for a time afterward that same patriotic drive was noticeably absent. We wondered -- Could America ever unite on a common national purpose again ?
How thrilling -- following the terrorism in New York City and Washington -- it is to an "oldster" to see the unified patriotism of a nation coming together willing to fight a perceived foe that threatens our concept of freedom. Right on, George W., but don't go off half cocked, please.
David M. Kneeland
In the midst of national tragedy we, as a people, have rallied together to show unity and national pride. It was with this thought that I turned onto Front Street this morning, to go to my Tuesday work site. I noted the trash strewn like a bomb had gone off in a garbage truck.
We have been encouraged to continue doing our "everyday thing." In speaking with my co-workers, I was informed that this has been the "everyday thing" for the past couple of weeks. Calls to law enforcement to encourage "no littering" and "no loitering" have been meet with "I'll take your complaint." Individuals at this job site informed me that they have personally gone out and picked up the trash on more than one occasion; I commend them for that.
I realize within the scope of our nation's situation, the litter on Front Street in Brainerd, Minnesota, is insignificant. It does however, speak to the pride we have in ourselves and our community. Please pick up after yourselves and have that expectation of others.
Be proud to be an American. Be proud to be a Brainerdite.
We all need to think about what happened in New York and understand that it's no good fighting over petty things when such major things are happening in the world.
I believe there are people who are opposing the wastewater treatment plant for petty reasons. They are opposing it because they don't like Native Americans.
I have seen people like this. When I was growing up, I couldn't wait to go to the public school in my area. Finally I was old enough. I got new clothes and school supplies. But when I got to school, I was greeted with war whoops and called names. I learned the first day to take a seat in the back of the room.
Fortunately, I had parents who drilled it into me not to hate these people. Today, I don't have any problems with non-natives, but I feel it's too bad some people have petty feelings against Native Americans.
I don't understand how these people can be opposed to the wastewater plant -- won't they benefit from it too? We all need to work together to improve whatever needs improving. We need to stick together.
M. Zhaawan Benjamin
Remember, Americans, what makes this country great are the freedoms to speak and publish differing opinions, to practice any or no religion, to gather peacefully in groups.
What will make us far less than great is to commit murder in response to murder. If we escalate the battle, what greater wisdom do we show than the terrorists themselves? Striking back when hit may be a natural reflex, but nature has also given us problem-solving capabilities -- resourcefulness that we must use now. The stakes are much too high for us to revert to simple instinct. Our children are depending on us.
Anne Nelson Fisher
The events of Sept. 11 have affected us all. I would like to offer some observations.
I have never considered myself to be very patriotic -- or perhaps given it any thought. I served my country for five years during the Viet Nam war and did all the other things we "citizens" do and did not give it much thought -- until Sept. 11.
Early this morning I awoke -- the people I love came immediately to mind -- the country I love -- the people of New York City -- Washington, D.C. -- all flashed through my mind. I got up and looked out the window across the street and in the street light reflected against my neighbor's house was the perfectly reflected shadow of our flag at half mast waving gently in the early morning breeze. It sent a chill through me and my thoughts were many, but the one that was predominant was this -- soon -- that flag will rise to the top again and so will America's spirit -- that cannot be defeated.
A parting comment, President Bush said "our lives are changed forever," I agree. If we have to carry a government issued picture I.D. I will be the first one in line. If I have to register my guns, and I have many, so be it. It will be the first one in line, gladly. We are all going to have to give up some precious freedoms to keep what we love safe.
In closing, for the first time ever, I now know what patriotism is. I now proudly fly our flag.
God Bless America and those who have suffered so much.
Gary A. Bakken
A little humor
I see in The Dispatch on Wed., Sept. 18, they listed three things on the sports page: sports shorts, national briefs and golf shorts. None of the above is clothing. Ha! Everyone have a nice day.
Where were you?
After reading and re-reading a recent letter, I decided I too should write. The writer, if I understand it right, seems to think that the destruction of the World Trade Buildings was a payback to America for the atomic bombing of our enemy in World War II.
Dare I ask, where were you when Pearl Harbor was attacked? Did the enemy warn all civilians to move out because they were about to bomb them in a sneak attack? Were you there? Were you with the 194th from Brainerd, who had so many casualties? Some that I knew. Were you on the death march? Were you in one of the death camps, where you were lucky to catch a rat to eat? Were you in one of the hell holes in the streets with a metal grating over your head, so passersby could "relieve" themselves on you? Or were you on the U.S.S. New Mexico beside my brother, where 27 of his 28-man gun crew were killed by an enemy suicide bomber? Only by the grace of God did he survive. The enemy was very close, as I understood, from winning that war against America and if they had I think you would be whistling a different tune.
Or were you here with your head in the sand, not paying attention to what was going on? Or were you not yet born then? Why don't you visit with one of the few survivors of the death march/camps? Yes, I do admit the atomic bombing was horrible. But who are the cowards who destroyed the Trade Towers? We don't really know.
Jennie G. Bush
Do you think if we all prayed for the conversion of the terrorists that we would be "soldiers?" Be persistent. "Ask and you will receive." Matthew 7:7.
Respect for life
If human life isn't respected in the womb, where it should be the most secure, how is it going to be respected elsewhere in the world, i.e. the World Trade Center catastrophe?
I just have a word of advice for the public. Beware. I guess you can't take anybody's word for anything, anymore. Three weeks ago I bought a used tractor from one of our local implement dealers; he said the tractor was in good condition and had just been traded in on a larger tractor. So far I have receipts for over $900 in parts and I am still working on it. I confronted him about it, and he said there was nothing he could do about it. He also said he had been in business in the Brainerd area for over 50 years, and could walk down the street and shake hands with anybody.
To the owners of the newly proposed 24-lane bowling center, you are asking for disaster by building in Brainerd at the location of Highways 25 and 18. The reasons? It's hidden -- it's out of the way -- it's not visible to the heavy tourist traffic flow.
Your open bowling business will be hurting due to the prices that you will have to charge, and because of the location of your center your bar and restaurant business will also suffer due to the same reasons -- price and location.
I have bowled in Brainerd for 25 years. I have discussed this new business with a lot of other bowlers who share my thoughts. More of the bowlers than not, say that the location of this venture will bring about its demise.
This area cannot support two bowling centers. Back when there were two bowling lanes, there were still many league shifts that went unfilled.
If you wish to be successful in your business, I would urge you to build a 16-lane center and build it somewhere along the heavy traffic corridor that exists between Baxter and Nisswa. The cost of the land will be high, but I think that your business will succeed.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.