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Restructure the party

As a young conservative, I've been taking the time to reflect on the state of the nation and of my political party since Election Day.

I was binge-watching former President Ronald Reagan's speeches, and the speeches of many other great conservatives when I came to a realization. Reagan was a man of class who led by example and encouraged other Americans (and not just conservatives) to do the same for the sake of their nation.

Now, we have conservatives who are protesting the democratic election process, despite denouncing liberal protests in 2016 and Black Lives Matter protests just a few months ago. We have become fixated on electing a person in the party who will only be in a position for four to eight years when we should have been more worried about the values that our party should be instilling for decades and centuries to come.

How short is our memory as a party? Where did our party go wrong?

If we are truly going to pride ourselves on being the "bigger person" and on being mature, upstanding patriots, we ought to act like it. We have an opportunity over the next four years to restructure our party, and to work hand in hand with people across the aisle to do what needs to be done--for Americans.

KATIE ZAKRZEWSKI

North Little Rock

Advice still applies

Remember the response from the Trump supporters when he won the election in 2016? For those that don't, it was "Get over it." Well, it appears Joe Biden has won, so right back at you: "Get over it."

JOHN CAMPBELL

Little Rock

Freedom was bought

Shortly following Dec. 7, 1941, nearly everyone that could was on active duty. Then in 1942, word quickly spread in our small town of 400 that Tommy Wright's boy McClelland (Clell) was reported missing in action. It's OK, Mama, he's only missing in action. That's what the telegram said.

As a cadet, he had written a young lady friend and related to her about a presentation by General MacArthur, who said, "The only people worth living are those that are not afraid to die." Clell said in his letter that he had given some thought to that and decided it sounded right. His words changed only a little: "If a guy doesn't have anything to die for, he doesn't have anything to live for." Then early 1943, the other telegram said that while on a volunteer hazardous mission, his aircraft went missing with little chance of recovery. Then, in a few days, two nice-looking young officers in their pink and green uniforms showed up with some papers to sign. He was no longer MIA. A young man of 12 should not be seen crying, so I went out to the barn and hid behind some hay bales. Then someone sent us a Gold Star to put on the window.

The other brother was a B-17 pilot and the losses were very heavy. Hoping against hope not to get another Gold Star, we gathered each day around the Philco radio to listen to the losses, which were many. The other brother was in the Navy serving in Asia. Coincident with turning 18 and the start of the Korean conflict, I could not have not gone.

Gold Stars seem to be an ongoing event. As I sit in my recliner and see reports of another loss, I envision a couple of young officers walking up to some parents' door. And while I don't exactly lose it at age 88, I get up and go out and find some hay bales to hide behind. Later, when my day ends and it's time for "lights out," I have YouTube to take me to Arlington where I can hear "Taps" and be reminded how your freedom was bought and paid for. Don't let it slip away now.

DONAL B. WRIGHT

Cabot

Rise above, or don't

It seems every time a defendant charged with capital murder is found guilty, his lawyer brings out the theory that being raised in poverty, having addictive parents, being alone, abused, etc., makes the heinous crime they committed less heinous.

If you believe this theory, every child who fits the criteria would be out there committing these terrible crimes. They either rise above this, or they stay in the same place but don't commit the crimes.

There are people out there who believe they can take whatever they want through any means. Some people are just evil.

ELAINE COLCLASURE

North Little Rock

Merit honor, respect

Two days before Christmas, Dec. 23, 1957, a crew from Airborne Early Warning squadron VW-14, attached to Barbers Point Naval Air Station, was on a night training mission with 23 men on board a Lockheed Super Constellation WV-2 and was flying through the straits between the islands of Molokai and Oahu. The AWACS aircraft, with a full crew aboard, had an emergency at a very low level and plummeted into the Pacific. Despite heroic effort, 19 men were lost, just four survivors.

I was a naval officer attached to VW-12, a sister squadron with an identical mission. I have continued to think about those 19 lost men ever since. Tragically, earlier that same year, July 23, 1957, I was the duty officer at a shack very close by the southern end of the Barbers Point runway which terminated at the Pacific. Suddenly I became aware of sirens and vehicles rushing toward the end of the runway. I stepped out of the windowless building to see what was happening. I saw two helicopters circling a mile offshore where a Lockheed P2V-5F patrol plane, while attempting a landing with 10 on board, had plunged into the Pacific just a mile from the end of the runway, sadly almost home. The image of the helicopters circling immediately brought to mind a mother bird circling when finding her young fledglings on the ground where they don't belong. Ten men were lost that day; no survivors.

Ever since that fateful year I continue to think about, honor and preserve the memory of those 10 men who gave their lives, and of the 19 who tragically would follow later in December; all deservedly honorable men who paid the ultimate sacrifice during peacetime, and by doing so, merit our honor and respect, and not just on Veterans Day.

JAMES H. BARRÉ

Little Rock

Doctor deserves one

The individual who deserves the Nobel Peace Prize is Dr. Anthony Fauci. His efforts have been addressed to humanity, beyond the U.S. borders.

CHARLES FEILD

Little Rock

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