Letters to the editor

Cherish our Veterans Day When I was a child, Armistice Day - the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month - was when the guns stopped after four years of incredible, mindless slaughter. The countries of France and Belgium were awash in blood and the death count beyond belief. Observations were universal. At 11 a.m., sirens would sound, traffic would stop and drivers would stand at attention alongside their cars for two minutes in silent tribute to fallen comrades; flags half-staff, everyone wore a "buddy poppy" prompted by the poem "In Flanders Fields," which every school kid knew, as well as the lyrics to the song "My Buddy." This, of course, was before WWII when we learned what was forgotten, or perhaps, never learned. But then we all felt the hurt, took it seriously, with the solemnity it warranted.
Now, after a few flag waves by a select few, the rest of America goes off to have a picnic (now called Veterans Day, a difference without a distinction) except the picnics become more important than the veteran. So for once let's concentrate on our new veterans, the ones who need jobs, housing to accommodate their disabilities and some ongoing compassion for the damage war has inflicted on them. Wear a poppy and know its significance, why it is blood red. Don't let this day become a day of hollow ritual and empty of remembrance. Don't just thank him for his service and turn away feeling virtuous. Perhaps we should rename it "Cherish Our Veterans Day." Randy Ludacer Lake Placid Voting rights Can people never see the gross unfairness of requiring a picture ID to vote? If a person has been registered under 10 different names, that person stands to lose 90 percent of his/her voting power. Free society voting should be classified close to the top of the sacrosanct. Voter fraud should result in a $100,000 fine, plus 10 years in prison. Obviously, there is some tongue-in-cheek with these statements, but we definitely need to emphasize in our homes and in our schools the tremendous, nearly non-measurable value of a free society's vote. The next statement is sincere: One felony should result in a five-year suspension of voting rights, with a second felony resulting in permanent voting rights suspension. Jim Rahenkamp Avon Park