Honor Flight Program is?great way to thank veterans

My husband and I were pleased and impressed with the coverage of the Honor Flight Program in the Nov. 11 News. My father, Arthur J. Dean, was the first person from Genesee County to participate in Honor Flight in September 2008. Men from all over the United States flew on his flight. At that time neither Buffalo nor Rochester had an Honor Flight chapter, even though he flew out of Rochester. Therefore, his flight was designated "Lone Eagle."

My father was tremendously touched by the efforts of the Honor Flight staff and, as his chaperone, I too was deeply affected by the professional and very personal interactions of the staff and the men themselves. The staff took so much care to anticipate and cover any need any of the veterans might have had. Seldom was there a dry eye on the whole trip. We were met by Sen. Bob Dole at the World War II Memorial, visited Arlington and the Iwo Jima Monument.

Even though my father had previously never spoken of his war experience, when he returned to Corfu he talked constantly of the trip to anyone close to him. He even spoke at the Attica Lions Club and the Attica Historical Society. He always teared up when he spoke of "the best trip of my life."

My father died in 2010 at the age of 92. Since then, my husband and I have sponsored an Honor Flight participant in his name every year. We would encourage veterans to sign up for a trip. We further would encourage people to consider sponsoring a veteran for this wonderful experience. We need to send them now, while they are still with us. What better way to say thank you to all those who have fought for our freedom!

Sally Dean June



We need not shed ?tears for Petraeus

Before we drown in the tears being shed for Gen. David Petraeus, I'd like to insert a quote from Harry Truman. You remember him. I do, for I had the privilege of voting for Truman in 1948. He was such an honest person, he didn't even frank his mail. At least one of his cabinet officers said Truman was the most decisive person he ever met.

Truman had this to say about husbands who dilly and dally with compliant women: "I picked a West Pointer, son of an honorable father. A man who should have had Washington, Lee, Jackson, Gustavus Adolphus, for his ideals, to associate with me in carrying out a program. And I got a dud, a weakling, no ideals, no nothing. He'd use his office for his own enrichment. He's not true to his wife (and a man not honorable in his marital relations is not usually honorable in any other). He'd sell me or anyone else he's associated with out for his own gain, but for lack of guts." This quote is from "Harry S. Truman," written by Margaret Truman Daniels.

George D. Poe



Stop the bickering ?and work together

President Obama has been re-elected for another four years. Yet some Republicans still can't accept this. They act like whining children who didn't get their way. They claim that under Obama, religious freedom will be threatened, the Catholic Church will be abolished, the United States will become a Communist country and many other moronic absurdities.

Obama is our duly elected president by both the popular and electoral vote. Therefore, he is the president for all American citizens whether they voted for him or not. So would those disappointed Republicans please stop whining and grow up? And likewise, would the Democrats please stop gloating? Name calling and bickering accomplish nothing. Let us unite and support our president when he needs it and criticize him constructively when he deserves it. Above all, we should pray fervently that he leads the country for the next four years according to God's will.

Andrew F. Tomasulo



Spend quality time,?rather than money

I resent the idea of being labeled a Scrooge, especially by members of the retail establishment or people who don't understand a person's belief system. I agree with the letter writer who said people shouldn't yell at employees because of a company's decision to start peddling Christmas in September. But people like me get riled when we see Christmas being drawn out earlier and earlier every year.

A company's job is to make a profit, of course, not to teach what the holiday is really about. I liken the consumerism part of the holiday to an addiction – once you begin, you crave more. About $450 billion is spent on the holiday season. I wonder how much money is spent on charities every holiday?

I don't celebrate the tradition of a "one day a year" Christmas, because each day is a new day, a gift. Hence this is why it's called the present. Instead of spending time and money at the store, why not spend time at local homeless shelters, soup kitchens, animal shelters, hospice, nursing homes or group homes? Many of our elderly, disabled, disadvantaged and orphaned children don't have people who come see them regularly. Could we please stop thinking about our wallets for a few weeks and come up with a new marketing gimmick?

Russell J. Fowler



Citizens' right to vote? should not be altered

A recent response to Denise Jewell Gee's column about the Electoral College was indicative of the hard-line, right-wing sentiment that is seeping out after the election. The writer signals his displeasure with the outcome of the election, although he chose to show it by attacking everyone's right to vote. It is clear to me that the writer feels that uneducated, unemployed, non-English speaking lazy voters returned President Obama to the White House for a second term. His bulleted ideas can lead a reader to no other conclusion.

He is pro-military and wants to give our service members the "first crack at the vote." Perhaps he feels that only our service people can "get it right." But what about the rest of us? He calls for requirements that would satisfy his personal criteria to exercise our constitutional right to vote; a "legitimate reason" for an absentee ballot, the ability to read, write and communicate in English and a civics course passed with an "acceptable grade." What would the criteria be for these "acceptable" reasons and test scores? How proficient in English must we be?

What the writer fails to understand is that the control of such criteria can lead to manipulation of voting rights. Florida provided a great example of this in the 2000 presidential vote.

I would counter that the same uneducated, lazy, non-English speaking population elected President George W. Bush twice. Maybe the last thing this writer wants is a highly educated voting public.

Dan Bailey

East Aurora