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No Stalin bust, please
I have lived in Bedford County since 1969 and my grandmother, who was born in Bedford County, frequently shared her memories and affection for the county. I share this to acknowledge that I am no stranger to Bedford and its history. With that in mind, these are my observations about this Stalin bust fiasco.
First of all, I was around when the idea for the D-Day Memorial was surfacing and a number of folks gladly gave their time to pitch the project to groups with the hopes of sparking interest and securing donations for this project. The presentations were masterful in pointing out the sacrifices and dedication of the soldiers and families who had suffered and died in the cause – and most particularly D-Day.
The several presentations that I heard were very sentimental and tugged at my heart strings. Honoring these soldiers and families was the primary and repetitive message. I never heard the word Stalin or the names of any other politicians for that matter. According to the presentations, this memorial was to be all about the soldiers.
Then there was the rush to completion, which according to my observation, is a phenomena that occurs in many projects throughout Virginia. (I live here and don’t really know what it is like in other places.) The consequence of the rush is usually one or more of the following: Buildings that have to be repaired or replaced soon after their completion; Financial records that defy description; A scapegoat for whatever has gone or will go wrong; A way to change it all and get out of the mess that has been created.
So this is my observation: We now have a memorial that I thought was complete except for the temporary building that houses the gift shop and no one mentions erecting a permanent building there anymore; someone that had to go through the courts to prove he was not the scapegoat; then the way out appeared – Get the National Parks to take over the D-Day Memorial.
I read articles indicating that the memorial was seeking to be embraced by the National Parks System. ...
Regarding the politicians at the memorial: The truth in many folks minds is most likely this – If the politicians had actually been there on D-Day, we’d probably still be there, because they would want to “talk about it first.” And of course we all know how long a politician can talk.
Regarding Stalin – a leader who has to kill innocent people to lead is a killer not a leader. There really wasn’t much difference between Stalin and Hitler when it came to killing innocent people. To honor Stalin is an attempt to elevate him to a status that he does not deserve. One of Stalin’s statues was decapitated there on December 29, 2010. To find out more go to the Internet and type in Ukraine and Stalin on Google or any search engine. They even share the number of those who were killed by Stalin. Too much to include here.
It should be a simple thing to honor a soldier and his family for what they have experienced and done for our country. Why can’t we just leave this memorial as the one place where a soldier is truly honored? Somewhere in these United States there should be one place that dedicates itself to just that. Why can’t it be here in Bedford?
The Stalin bust issue
I have to wonder why Director Robin Reed wants his name attached to Stalin. The bust was removed. I was ready to send a donation. Bam! Letters went out to supporters and his true feelings about Stalin’s importance as an ally and his determination to keep the Stalin bust was evident.
But hey, I realize now how Stalin can help raise funds for the D-Day Memorial. Advertise Stalin, use bill boards and brochures,’ Come one and all to see the only place in the World where you can honor the Great monster who liked Hitler then changed his mind when Germany attacked the USSR.’
His own people have denounced his rule officially from 1956 forward. This could turn our beautiful D-Day Memorial into something of a carnival. Who would come to see the bust of a man who purged his opponents and rivals for power in the 1930s and did away with innocent citizens by the millions?
No, not I because it would dishonor our Memorial and each of our Veterans.
The proper use of language
Words mean things. The Roanoke Times editorial (1-4-2011) fails to be faithful to history or the proper use of language.
You are encouraging mission creep. The D-Day Memorial mission is a memorial to D-Day. Period. It is not about the rest of WWII. It is not about whatever hindsight may (or may not) remember about otherwise despicable people. It is not about speculating what might (or might not) have happened had circumstances been different.
Stalin was evil. He starved millions of his own people to death. He slaughtered millions more in gulags and work camps. He trusted Hitler, for awhile. No other location in the country has a statue to him. For good reason. He doesn’t deserve it. Even his own countrymen have torn down his likenesses and renamed geography named for him.
“History should be recorded and remembered as closely as possible to actual events as human memory allows.” Thus says the penultimate sentence in your editorial. Please don’t encourage the mission of the D-Day memorial to creep into events that have nothing to do with their stated and recognized mission.
Winter vs. Christmas
I have a few comments regarding the letter from Ms. Patsy Arnold Martin about the winter break vs. Christmas break. Christmas appears to bother Ms. Martin yet this celebration has been around for many years. According to a survey 80 percent +/- believe in God and Jesus. How can this celebration be so offensive?
I realize that we have become so hypersensitive that many want the name of God removed from public life, do so at your own peril. Christmas is a local, state and national holiday and is observed around the world. If we can disguise Christmas and Easter with Winter and Spring break what will we do with other holidays?
I, for one, am sick of the political correctness we have to contend with. Wake up Americans and Christians, your freedoms are slipping away. Thanks to Debbie Hoback and Brad Whorley for their willingness to call the school break what it really is- Christmas break. To all those school board members who are either fearful or willing to ignore the rights of Christians, Merry Christmas and Happy Easter. Please read Luke 9-26.
James E. Falls
Our future depends on everyone recycling .
Here is an essay on what I know and what you need to know . You probably didn’t know this but an estimated 20 percent of all people that visit BCW (Bedford county waste management ) recycle. That’s a lot of people !
You should also know that Bedford County’s state recycling rate is 42 percent! Wow ! This includes both residential and business recycling efforts.
In Bedford County, an estimated 200,000 lbs. of textiles are recycled per year. This is not counting what they may take to Goodwill. Also in Bedford County, waste is collected in compactors and open top containers and brought to the landfill. Bedford County also operates a landfill, a recycling facility and 25 centers for Bedford County residents only to deposit their waste and recycling products. There are only 13 recycling centers located at various sites.
If you are wondering about Styrofoam, Bedford County doesn’t collect it but you can take it and return it to your local UPS store where they can recycle it. Compact fluorescent light bulbs are not collected because they are hazardous if broken because they contain a mercury gas. Bedford County recycled over 90,000 lbs. of electronics in 2010.
How do I know this ,you might be asking yourself because I went to work with a parent and this is how I found out all this stuff . So please everyone take it from me and please recycle ! Make the world a better place for your children and the future.
After I explained “Obamacare” to a small group of senior citizens, they asked why anyone was against it. I replied that a lot of “garbage” had been put out about the plan, the Administration hadn’t explained it very well, and it does have features which some find objectionable. Here is a brief summary of the plan:
2010. “Donut Holers” get $250. Young adults can stay with family’s insurance. Free preventive health services for individuals with employer or personal insurance. Employers given funds to provide health insurance for early retirees. Insurance companies can’t drop folks, impose lifetime limits, consider children’s pre-existing conditions, or charge excessive premiums based on age, gender, or health. Temporary insurance for those with pre-existing conditions and no health insurance for six months.
2011. “Donut Holers” receive a 50 percent discount for brand-name drugs. Medicare includes free wellness visits and preventive care. Limits placed on administrative costs of Medicare Advantage plans, must match Original Medicare charges for certain services. More information for nursing home comparisons. Drug plan enrollment periods change, premiums increase at incomes above $85,000 single, $170,000 married.
2012. Voluntary long-term care insurance program. Electronic health records.
2013. New funding to states that cover preventive services. Bundled payments to health care providers.
2014. Comprehensive health insurance for those who can’t get coverage at work. Subsidies to purchase health insurance. Penalty if not purchased, penalties increase yearly. Folks with limited incomes and without Medicare eligible for Medicaid, Medicaid income limits increase. Insurance companies can’t impose annual limits, can’t consider pre-existing conditions or gender (applies to everyone).
2020. Donut hole eliminated.
Some find objectionable the requirement that everyone purchase some sort of health insurance, but there is an obvious necessity for this requirement. Otherwise ailing folks without insurance could report to an emergency room where they would receive free treatment at taxpayer’s expense. The senior citizens seemed to understand the dilemma and to agree with its resolution. This led me to wonder how many other folks are unfamiliar with “Obamacare,” hence this letter.
James R. Gloudemans
Prior to November elections, President Obama made it known he wanted the Health Care Bill passed. The majority of the people nationwide did not. Congress, representing the people, voted in favor of the Health Care Bill. One representative who voted for the Health Care Bill won by 17,000 votes over his opponent. To vote is a choice but must be done conscientiously with facts in hand. It is the duty of schools to instruct students details of our State and Federal government for purpose to uphold the Constitution. ...
No duty lies on our Congress to take up a subject to which the President has called attention as needing legislation; and suggestions a president makes are neglected. Why? The three functions are servants of the people. One cannot interfere with another. Rights come from God not government. Private property is one’s own person, dwelling and land, his money, private property does not belong to Caesar! For a government to seize any part of private property would make individuals subjects as they were under English rule. Our founding Fathers warned that losing one right will cause all rights to be lost.
The above brings to mind a quotation by Thomas Jefferson. “If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.”