Memorial Day is a time for understanding what we are really celebrating.
On Nov. 8, 2010, when my grandson Andrew Hutchins was killed in Afghanistan part of me died. I said at that time there must be a lesson here and asked my God to show me what that was.
In the last few months of grieving I have been looking for a lesson. I think I have found more than one because now I realize the cost of war to all families whose sons, daughters, husbands and fathers have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
Yesterday I attended a ceremony in the Maine State House where the dog tags of nine young Maine men were put on the memorial. As I looked around and saw hundreds of family members with tears in their eyes matching mine, I said, ”Now I get the lesson.”
I watched as Gov. LePage kindly approached Andrew’s young widow holding her daughter, the daughter Andrew had looked forward to being a father to.
Freedom comes at a cost that I now am able to feel as never before. The grief that thousands of people have gone through comes because the cost of freedom is not without sacrifices from all of us. Andrew’s younger brother, age 11, was there and spoke so well about how proud he was of his brother and Maine for honoring those nine fallen young men.
These young men are our heroes. They understand the cost of freedom. Do you?
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Concerned for Wintle
I think the incident with Rep. Frederick Wintle sounds like he could have some kind of medical problem (“State legislator barred after gun incident,” BDN, May 23).
If all this behavior started recently, I’m wondering if maybe he has had some kind of brain malfunction. If I were his family I would immediately take him to the doctor and get him an MRI. Hopefully things will straighten out for him so he can get some help before he hurts himself or someone else.
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Health care facts
In his May 21 letter to the BDN, Norman Minsky asks if the map used in a May 13 BDN front-page article regarding the impact of health reform bill LD 1333 on rural Maine is “correct” and “true.”
Unfortunately, the map was pulled from a 2007 State Bureau of Insurance report having little to do with the new health insurance reform law.
The new law does not force people in rural areas to travel outside their local area to receive medical care. Speaking hypothetically, suppose I’m having surgery in a local hospital for a torn knee ligament for which my health insurance covers 85 percent of the cost. My insurance provider must pay for the services received from my local provider. Medical insurance providers are free to offer incentives to their policyholders to seek medical care at a distance, but it’s optional.
Why would an insurance company offer such an incentive? Under the new health insurance law, my insurance provider can notify me that a nonlocal hospital has a better track record for torn ligament surgeries at a better price. If I’m willing to have my surgery done there, my insurance provider will cover 95 percent of the cost. Ultimately, the choice is mine alone.
As it relates to premiums for older people, the new law conforms to the age-based pricing requirements to the federal Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).
For answers to frequently asked questions about Maine’s new health insurance reform law, email a legislative aide at firstname.lastname@example.org or download the answers at http://www.maine.gov/legis/senate_gop/
Sen. Nichi Farnham
Sen. Richard Rosen
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Thank a veteran
When you are out with the family enjoying the cookouts, parades or just relaxing this Memorial Day weekend, please be sure to remember the people who made it possible, the veterans.
I am so proud of my father, other relatives, friends and all other veterans who have sacrificed so much for others. Be sure to thank a veteran, not just this holiday, but year round. They certainly deserve it.
Clinton Collamore Sr.
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Questionable trade titles
Please don’t get me wrong. If it were not for unions, I would not have my trade today.
I started in my trade in July 1962 and apprenticed for 12 years under the rules of the AFL-CIO for the good of my grade and the wholesale and retail customers in the jewelry business. If I refer to myself as a journeyman in the trade, that is because I finished certain periods of education under the instruction of a junior jeweler in the trade shop.
There are too many people in my trade and many other trades that refer to themselves as masters. I was taught never to think of myself as a master; for when a person thinks that way, he or she has learned everything in the trade and there is nothing more to learn.
I like to think that there is always something to learn on a daily basis, even though I am working on my 49th year in the jewelry trade. I found out in the last few months that some people in my trade have put the words “master jeweler” after their names. I also found out why they use this title. It is because they took a seven-day course. It makes me wonder what became of my trade.
It also makes me wonder what happened to laws that protect the consumer and the quality of the products being produced in this country in all trades and services.
In any business it is your right to know what education level the tradesperson working on your property has.
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Who wrote the bill?
A modest proposal to help strengthen and perhaps restore our democracy: We need a “Who wrote the bill?” bill. Each piece of legislation should be identified as to the authorship of the bill, paragraph by paragraph, if need be. There may be no reversing the trend toward lobbyists writing many of our laws, but at least we’d know which lobbyists were writing them.
Write, phone or email your state representative or senator if you think this is a good idea.