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Letters: Rename event ‘Christmas Litter Across America’; Rioters fighting anarchy, not democracy; No vaccine for what ails country | READER COMMENTARY

Rename event ‘Christmas Litter Across America’

One month has passed since the third annual “Wreaths Across America,” where Christmas wreaths are put on the graves of military veterans. The event is apparently intended to show honor and to provide a way to feel good as an American, while also providing the obligatory photo ops for local politicians.

Many of the wreaths tip over within a day or two. Within a week the strong winter winds make it all a sad mess. By now, for the third straight year, every day I walk about picking up stray homeless wreaths, including those blown onto my property that adjoins the old St. Lucas Church cemetery in Uniontown. It makes one wonder whether the event should be renamed “Christmas Litter Across America.”

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Still standing at the cemetery entrance, left over from a month ago, is a garish 8-foot long sign, an eyesore that advertises a local burial vault company that apparently was a “sponsor” of the event. Images of various U.S. military services have been appropriated for inclusion on the sign, serving to underscore the involvement of someone’s rather pathetic notion of “patriotism.”

The only word that can be used to describe what is left behind each year at the cemetery from this annual December event is “desecration.”

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Perhaps some thought should be given to holding back on such well-meaning December urges, saving them for a warmer Saturday in June or July. There could be something called “Heritage Day Across Carroll County,” where the same participants (and their burial vault sponsors) could give a much needed annual dose of upkeep and restoration to our county’s sadly deteriorating smaller historic cemeteries — many of which, I know from my experience when I served as chair of the Carroll County Historic Preservation Commission, no longer have resources available for their upkeep.

Moreover, no doubt many of us would also take delight in photos of local politicians for once keeping quiet about their so-called political principles, instead spending a day helping to use the business end of a shovel to fill in a collapsing grave, or bending over to pick up broken gravestones in need of repair — many of them almost 200 years old and storytelling works of art.

Next December, I would invite whoever is responsible for this strange, feel-good exercise of flinging wreaths around cemeteries and beyond to keep your litter and your burial vault advertisement signs away from the St. Lucas cemetery in Uniontown. Heaven knows those dear souls deserve far better for their final resting place.

Matt Rohde

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Uniontown

Rioters fighting anarchy, not democracy

In response to G. Leamon Martin’s letter, yes, white lives do matter. And Black lives matter. Brown and yellow lives matter, too.

As for the woman that was killed, she forgot. She forgot who she was. She forgot her oath to defend the Constitution of the United States. She forgot her duty to protect the Capitol and the people who serve our country — even if they believed differently. And no one knelt on her neck for 9 minutes till she was dead.

As for the officer who shot her, he was doing his duty. He was protecting the Constitution, the Capitol, and the people who served there. He protected them from a mob breaking glass and using a battering ram to gain entrance.

These were not people requesting a hearing but rioters and insurrectionist who wanted to destroy and vandalize the Capitol. They wanted to stop a legal procedure confirming the next president. They were not fighting for democracy but for anarchy.

Eileen Kowalski

Union Bridge

No vaccine for what ails country

On Wednesday, we’ll inaugurate a new president. The hope and happiness that usually characterize this occasion are missing.

Federal troops guard the city. The capitol building is surrounded by armed soldiers and a steel fence. The Mall is off limits. So are the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. The inaugural ball is canceled. Tickets to the inauguration itself are severely limited. Security is everywhere. The clear message to those who would attend is “don’t”.

The fear of COVID-19 is rampant in the land. The invasion of the Capital by an out-of-control mob has brought wide-scale panic. COVID is on its way out. Vaccines are coming. But what about our fear of each other? There’s no vaccine for that.

Bill Boyer

Westminster

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