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Letters: What Memorial Day is and isn’t

Johnson City Press • May 25, 2018 at 6:00 AM

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What Memorial Day is and isn’t

This Monday is Memorial Day. First of all, what Memorial Day isn't. It isn't the first day of summer. It isn't the day to have a mattress sale. It isn't the day to celebrate the opening of the city pool. It is not the day to gorge yourself with BBQ and beer. It is not the day to score political points with your party. And it is not the day to thank servicemen and servicewomen for their service. I can appreciate that you are thankful for their service, but that is not what Memorial Day is about.

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance. It is the day to remember all of the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their country. If you want to thank servicemen and servicewomen for their service, that's what Veterans Day, Armed Forces Day or for that matter, any other day of the year, is for.

It is the day to remember your grandfather that died on the shores of Normandy. It is the day to show your child pictures of their uncle who died in battle in Korea. It is the day to remember those young men you went to high school with who are now remembered on the wall in D.C. It is the day to remember those young men and women who died in Iraq and Afghanistan. Regardless as to your political beliefs. Regardless as to whether you agree with any war or not, hundreds of thousands have died on the battlefield serving our country. Memorial Day is the day to remember them. Before you and your family go to celebrate a three-day weekend, take your family to a VA cemetery and explain the enormity of what lays in front of them.

JAY JARMAN
Jonesborough

Listen to context of Trump’s comments

Everyone knows the JC Press is a liberal mouthpiece, but you have really outdone yourselves by printing the opinion of Blair Bess in the May 24th edition. Not only is the opinion of some far left-wing Californian no one ever heard of not relevant to those of us that live in the real world, it is a prime example of living in an alternative universe.

If you took the time to actually listen to what President Trump said, it is abundantly clear he was referring specifically to members of the MS 13 gang, and only animals act the way they do. Like Pelosi and Schumer, the writer of the "opinion" piece is attributing a fair statement about MS 13 to all "undocumented" aliens. Typical Democrat spin!

Our immigration system is completely broken and President Trump recognizes what needs to be done to fix it. Congress is standing in the way as usual for purely political reasons! The JC Press can do better than this!

JONATHAN LINK
Johnson City

Hunting for a happy 150th

When Rebecca Henderson, chair of the Johnson City Sesquicentennial Commission recently asked Johnson City folks for ideas to celebrate this milestone, my first thought was to tell the history of Johnson City by having a citywide historical scavenger hunt. For those who enjoy a good scavenger hunt as much as I do, it would be an entertaining adventure — and what a great opportunity to learn some of our beautiful city’s history.

The idea is to have a committee of individuals with knowledge of our history choose a number of locations: buildings, parks, monuments, homesteads, landmarks, etc., and provide the list to the participants, along with a narrative of the historical significance of each site (teaching moments here, parents!!!!)

During the designated days/weeks of the scavenger hunt, participants would visit the locations and get a picture of themselves there. Some sort of prize could be awarded for finding each site and submitting the photo documentation, i.e., everyone who completes all before a specified date is put into a drawing for a prize.

Involve the schools, local businesses and media. Maybe some businesses would like to sponsor the event and you would visit their establishment(s) to get your copy of the scavenger hunt contest and rules. Publish in local news outlets which businesses have the game and where to pick up an official copy.

Happy Sesquicentennial Planning, JC!

JANIE WHITTIMORE
Johnson City

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