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Dec. 24 Letters to the Editor

Let us not forget

This is a difficult time of year. So many are out of work or working fewer hours and not able to enjoy the holiday season as in past years. The economy of the state and nation is a great concern to all. Will we recover and in what condition are the questions on everyone’s mind.

While we worry about things on the homefront there are tens of thousands of young men and women, far from home, wearing the nation’s colors. They do our bidding with little complaint, in harsh conditions on that faraway soil.

Let us not forget these young men and women as we go into this holiday season. I hope all will take at least a few moments to remember them and the sacrifices they and their families are making to give us a safe place to celebrate Christmas and the new year. They have earned our respect as have the veterans of the past conflicts. Keep all of them in your thoughts and prayers.

Charles D. Fisher



Positive Meg Adams

I am an 81-year-old man and I want you to know how much I enjoy reading Meg Adams’ outlook on the experiences she has had, working in so many different places and having a positive outlook on life.

Keep writing, Meg.

John C. Farquhar



Hearts and minds

I read with great interest the BDN’s Dec. 10 editorial, “Learning From Past Wars,” based on the book “Lessons in Disaster” by Gordon M. Goldstein.

There’s another book very pertinent to the failed U.S. strategy in Vietnam. That book is “In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam” by Robert S. McNamara. The former secretary of defense in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations admitted in his 1995 book that he was wrong in embracing the “domino theory” of a monolithic Communist movement seeking global domination. This view, which ignored individual nationalistic aspirations, was widely held by both Democratic and Republican administrations following the end of World War II.

“The foundations of our decision making were gravely flawed,” he said.

Mr. McNamara explained that U.S. military leaders — as well as himself — misunderstood the nature of the conflict. “They viewed it primarily as a military operation when in fact it was a highly complex nationalistic and internecine struggle,” he said. This important lesson of history apparently is not lost on Gen. Stanley McChrystal, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. I wish him every success in winning the hearts and minds of the Afghan people.

Michael L. Drake



High risk, no help

I am a senior nursing student at the University of Maine who cannot find a place to get vaccinated for H1N1. I am constantly in the hospital taking care of patients and in a classroom with 50 other nursing students, but still am not considered high risk enough to receive the H1N1 vaccine.

I feel that I am putting my patients at risk because I am the person who is supposed to be protecting them. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends all pregnant women, people who live with, or care for, children younger than 6 months, health care and emergency personnel, and people between the ages of 25-64 who have chronic health disorders receive the H1N1 vaccination.

Nursing students are constantly working in the hospital, but do not receive the vaccination in clinical rotations because we are not employees. I had planned to receive my vaccination at the University of Maine during a schoolwide vaccination clinic, but the university did not receive the 6,000 doses expected. I have also tried to get the vaccine at my primary health care provider but it has yet to receive any of the vaccine.

I am hopeful that the state and the rest of the country will get the number of vaccinations needed to give the vaccine to all high-risk groups.

Hayley Quirk



Bicycle trip, vicariously

I want to add my voice to those who have already commented on how much they’ve enjoyed the weekly articles by Levi Bridges about his bicycle trip across Asia and Europe. Each article has been well written and interesting. I have looked forward to reading about their progress and adventures each week and have lived vicariously through them.

Thank you Bangor Daily News and please pass my comments on to Levi and Ellery.

Tom Wilhelm


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