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Monday, July 4, 2011: Expression, neighbors and fireworks

God banned from cemetery

What is our government, specifically the Veterans Administration through the Houston National Cemetery, doing by denying people their First Amendment rights?

According to an article on FoxNews.com, veterans and their families are being denied the right to say “God” and “Jesus” in prayers during services at the cemetery. Cemetery officials are demanding that veterans and families submit prayers in advance for government approval.

Since when does our federal government have the authority to deny citizens of the United States their freedom of religion?

These are men and women who fought and died protecting the freedoms in our constitution, only to have some government official deny them their basic rights. This is something that every citizen needs to bring to the attention of their senator, representative and our so-called president, demanding that this uncalled for action stop immediately.

Douglas Bacon


Ice cream ideas

My wife and I live a few steps away from the spot where a little boy was recently struck by a car as he ran for an ice cream from a Good Humour truck.

Also, thankfully, his mother was nearby as was one of our neighbors who did a great job in helping to calm him and as a great person, just being there and having knowledge to act when so many others would feel helpless.

Although suffering a serious leg fracture, thankfully, he was not more seriously injured.

We love these children and this boy and our other neighborhood kids play on our street and in our yard. His friends will miss this until he is better.

Let’s consider two options which could avert future near tragedies such as this. One is to require Good Humour drivers to pull onto less dangerous side streets or parking before serving customers. Kids act impetuously and a busy principal street, like Buck Street, is a high-risk area for such activities. Perhaps the franchisee will consider this idea.

State law requires school buses to have flashing red lights and other cautionary devices to protect children crossing the street and walking around the bus. We’re not suggesting that vehicles be required to stop for the Good Humor truck but why not have warning lights to signal extra caution when the truck is serving its young customers?

We have a close-knit neighborhood where people care but there are some things that require outside help.

Bill and Ruth Shook


Envy, jealousy

A recent letter to the editor in the Bangor Daily News asked if the terror, violence and killing was caused by something we did. No, it is not our fault that the Taliban and al-Qaida do these things.

Beneath the bombings and other violence are two reasons: envy and jealousy. Envy and jealousy lead to resentment, that leads to action and violence is what happens.

You might say this is revenge. They do not and cannot have what free nations have so this violence and terror is their way of expressing that envy and jealousy. Unfortunately, the U.S. is their No. 1 target.

Reginald Strout


Keep fireworks out

I am not swayed by the slick rhetoric being used to promote the sale of fireworks in Maine. The noise injuries and fires they cause are not worth it.

I am sure it will be made easy for minors to get their hands on these dangerous products.

I remember two boys about 10 years old lighting a firecracker while one was sitting on his bicycle. When he drew his band back to throw it, it exploded beside his ear. He put his hand against his ear, and let out a scream I’ll never forget.

I know of two houses I lived in that were nearly burned down because of careless juvenile fireworks ignition. And I remember the days when we were startled and jumped inside our houses when fireworks were ignited outside unexpectedly at all hours of the day and night. I also remember having fireworks thrown at us in crowded areas because some nitwits thought that was a funny thing to do.

I want fireworks kept out of Maine.

Ray Perkins Jr.


Bad neighbor policy

My family’s hearts go out to the Fall family on the loss of their one-year-old four-legged family member, Hank (“DA investigating shooting of family’s dog in Palmyra,” BDN, June 29).

What a terrible and unnecessary tragedy. How sad that we live in a world where an honest mistake leads to such misery and the eventual death of an innocent creature. Whatever happened to old-fashioned neighborliness that lets each other know when a pet has gotten loose?

Hank was not a neighborhood nuisance roaming at will where he shouldn’t have gone. Aren’t we fortunate that our neighbors now carry guns and defend at all costs their inalienable right to shoot at will? To defend a chicken?

Anne Calhoun

Campobello Island, New Brunswick

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