Honor vets; they kept us free
Some might recognize Nov. 11 as just another pleasant bit of leisure away from work. But for 96 years the day has been special for serious-minded citizens. It is a time to remember those who risked, or gave, their lives for the freedom we so often take for granted.
In 1919, to commemorate the end of World War I, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 Armistice Day: "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the things for which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations."
In 1945, at the end of World War II, Raymond Meeks, an Alabama native and veteran of that war, asked that Armistice Day be expanded to include all veterans. On June 1, 1954, Congress passed a resolution, signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day.
Remember with gratitude those who served our country and made an immeasurable contribution to preserving the precious freedoms we enjoy every day.
Real tribute: Read a book
I'm a veteran, and like most I appreciate thanks and free meals on Veterans Day. But if you really want to pay tribute to those who have served, give them something more valuable than your thanks; give them your time.
Read a book about veterans; read a book written by a veteran. Pore over a book on war, the military or foreign policy. The latter isn't just a last-minute topic for election season; which way our country goes on foreign affairs determines whether some military members will be home for their kids' birthdays or not.
I know it isn't as visible as attending a parade or ceremony, but reading books for Veterans Day means you care enough to invest a few hours to broaden your horizons. Skip your favorite TV show or movie to do the reading. It's a small example of the kind of personal sacrifice veterans make all the time.
Veterans depend on an educated citizenry at home looking out for them. When I was on active duty we used to joke that someday we wanted to get promoted to civilian. Citizens are the decision makers; knowledge is power, so use that power wisely. Veterans are depending on you.
Fight for cross, values
The easiest way to destroy America is to destroy the moral fiber of its people. All you have to do is create subversive groups with patriotic names promoting the theory that every government entity must be prohibited from recognizing any form of religion.
Now the Freedom From Religion Foundation in Wisconsin has come to Wilmore demanding that the cross atop the Wilmore Utilities water tower be removed.
The Constitution gives every entity — be it a person, business, county or school district — the freedom to choose religion. If any of these entities chooses to allow prayer or put up religious symbols, they have the freedom to do so.
Destroy our freedom to choose religion and it is only a matter of time before all our freedoms are gone. Destroy the moral fiber that religion gives people of this nation and we destroy ourselves.
I, and millions of other patriotic veterans and active-duty personnel of the armed forces, chose to defend the Constitution from all enemies, both foreign and domestic.
So bring your Freedom from Religion Foundation and American Civil Liberties Union people to Wilmore and see how religious, freedom-loving people can fight for our rights and our freedom to choose religion.
System failed officer
The title of my letter could be: "Put the judge, parole board and defense attorney in the cell with Raleigh Sizemore."
What in the world was this criminal doing out on the streets? He was released from prison and out on parole in June when he was arrested again. Somehow he got out of jail again and now officer Daniel Ellis, a young man who has devoted his life to service, has lost his life after this criminal shot him in the head.
The people responsible for this career criminal being out on the street after all the problems he has caused should lose their jobs at least. Shame on them.
John G. Blankenship
Matt Bevin can now tout the successes Kentuckians had under outgoing Gov. Steve Beshear.
But he also faces a hard task in touting Kentucky's businesses to a skeptical public because in the era before and during the Obama presidency their economy is moving up but Obamacare, as it is dubbed, is not and is costing taxpayers millions of dollars.
But it also mirrors the presidency of James Madison under whom we had the War of 1812, which was neither successful nor a failure.
But what Bevin can do is to tout the success of the business of the average Kentuckian and see what he can do to manage it.
Ky. is conservative
I was amused by editor Peter Baniak's bewilderment at how far polls missed the election result. Outside of Louisville and Lexington, this state is very conservative. That the Herald-Leader has never realized that or just dismissed it, is a big part of the problem. Mountain folk and country people might not be as educated or financially independent, but they are proud.
We don't like to be referred to as uneducated, backwoods, racist and behind the times, even if there might be elements of truth to it. We don't like whiny little haters like Joel Pett ridiculing our beliefs or lack of education. The candidates the Herald-Leader consistently endorses do not reflect our values. To believe the Herald-Leader, Republicans almost never have a qualified candidate.
This will only be the second Republican governor in 40 years, yet we still lag far behind other states in education, health and jobs. Maybe its time for a different path.
I am a Republican but did not vote for Matt Bevin. I wish him well and hope he does a great job. I also hope he finds a way to keep Kentuckians covered with health care, but a better, sustainable way to pay for it.
Kentucky voter turnout was 30 percent. Seventy percent of voters did not show up. Two candidates split that vote. It was like a fire sale, a going-out-of-business election.
If you had a car that did not run 70 percent of the time, you do not have transportation.
This same thing is true across the nation.
In Mississippi, the Democrats did not even really run a campaign against the incumbent. Republican Gov. Phil Bryant had $2.8 million in his campaign fund, and his Democratic challenger, Robert Gray, was a truck driver who reported spending no money and didn't even vote in his own primary.
According to news reports, Gray said he made only a few campaign appearances and was at a loss to explain his strong showing and that some might have voted for him because he has a common name.
Now this is truly a going out of business sale for U.S. politics and democracy.
This story does not fit the agenda of either party. It is ignored in preference to celebration of victory and excuses for defeat. Kentucky is typical in this, not unique. A sleeping electorate.