Letters submitted by BDN readers are verified by BDN Opinion Page staff. Send your letters to letters@bangordailynews.com.

Veterans deserve better

Everyone knows what a holiday is, but I would bet that many people do not know why we have Memorial Day! Most people may think it is just another day away from work, having no idea what the true meaning of it is! This is about all American veterans who have given their all to keep this country free, and yet veterans get little respect.

We live in a country where unless it affects the individual, Americans could seem to care less about veterans. What you did years ago doesn’t matter to them, they only care about what you did for them today! Without the men and women who have served this country over hundreds of years, Americans would not have the freedoms they have today. And what would they do without them?

Thousands have given their lives for our country and its people, and yet we veterans still get no respect, and that is a slap in our faces because veterans deserve better than how they are treated today. And yet no one seems to give a damn about veterans!

How would people feel if the veterans said, to hell with the U.S., they don’t care about us, why should we care about them? That is not how it works, every person who joins the military stands by their pledge to protect American citizens and they don’t ask how or why, yet they are not given the respect they deserve!

This Memorial Day, people should make it clear that they believe in American veterans and what they did or do — and not as just a passing fancy! A great military leader once said that the most powerful tool is a volunteer. We have had and still have millions of powerful tools that did serve or are serving this country right now, and they deserve better than the way they are treated by Americans.

Robert Tomlins

Aurora

For the People Act

The For the People Act is a historic opportunity to help elect politicians who represent the interests of the average citizen. It will reduce the influence of big money, make it easier to vote, end gerrymandering, and improve election security by requiring backup paper ballots in all states.

Please urge Sen. Susan Collins to support this legislation or to seek a bipartisan compromise. If she succeeds, this could be one of the highlights of her career.

John Tjepkema

Orono

Protecting a special place

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska is a special place. Stories from Alaska’s Gwich’in First Nation people who have lived there for thousands of years and the latest climate science are enough for me to understand the need to protect this special place from oil and gas development.

Fossil fuel extraction is a risky, intense, disruptive activity that threatens the Gwich’in people’s way of life and our public lands. In January, Arctic oil and gas leases, auctioned off for the first time, despite overwhelming public opposition and the refusal of most major banks to fund extraction activities there, generated only a small fraction of anticipated revenue, showing that it is not cost effective to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Thankfully, in April, U.S. Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland put a hold on these types of lease sales on other federal lands through June.

The U.S. must lead development of clean, renewable energy sources, like solar and wind, that will help us remain economically competitive and protect our air, water, and health rather than extract dirty oil and gas from the Arctic’s pristine landscape and other public lands.

Fossil fuels are not needed to thrive, but we do need clean air and water, which continue to be at risk due to the continued, large-scale burning of fossil fuels. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge must be permanently protected from oil and gas drilling. Urge Maine’s congressional members to stop forced lease sales in the Arctic and to support the permanent withdrawal of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Daniel Tandy

Coordinator

The Alaska Coalition

Bar Harbor