Credit: George Danby / BDN

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Symbols and controversy

With the controversy of the now banished Nao Santa Maria, the word symbolism is now back on the forefront of our conversations. Whether it is a flag, song, speech, statue, building or other object, symbols are a matter of personal choice.

The Nazis had many symbols, one of them was a fanatical brown shirt named Horst Wessel. He was murdered by the opposing German Communist Party (KPD). Joseph Goebbels elevated him to a Nazi martyr. The Nazi anthem, Horst-Wessel-Lied was named after him. Adolf Hitler christened one of his newest sail training vessels after him. This vessel symbolized the pride of the Nazi navy. It’s bowsprit was the Nazi war bird and carried the swastika in its talons. That vessel is now USCGC WIX-327 and now carries the U.S. Coast Guard shield in its talons.

If we can accept the World War II war prize U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Eagle as representation on the high seas, we surely can allow the Nao Santa Maria on the Penobscot River.

Captain Robert J. Simon

Penobscot

Pandemic of the unvaccinated

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Friday that the seven-day average of COVID-19 cases had jumped almost 70 percen t in the last week. Walensky called it “a pandemic of the unvaccinated.”

Basically, it seems people who chose not to get vaccinated because of misinformation from right-wing and social media are mainly the ones getting sick, some fatally. Back in the 1950s everyone was vaccinated with the Salk vaccine to wipe out polio. If enough people back then had the same attitude and chose not to be vaccinated, polio would likely be still with us today and there’d be an awful lot of kids on crutches and in iron lungs.

Deek Crowley

Wayne

Support Chipman for ATF director

Right now, the U.S. Senate is considering President Joe Biden’s nominee for director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), David Chipman. And it couldn’t come at a more important time. As we emerge from the coronavirus pandemic, crime continues to rise, and we need a strong leader at the helm of the ATF that can effectively and quickly reduce illegal gun violence.

Chipman is a decorated law enforcement officer with decades of experience investigating and responding to serious terrorist attacks, including the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing. During his tenure at the ATF, he also managed complex firearm trafficking cases and climbed up the ranks overseeing hundreds of agents and partnering with countless communities.

Few people understand the complexities of gun violence like Chipman. He is also a gun owner himself and Second Amendment advocate, so he has a unique perspective on gun rights and safety. Simply put, he is the right man for the job. Chipman will be able to lead the ATF with common sense and experienced direction. It’s why several law enforcement agencies and attorney generals support his confirmation.

I hope that senators Susan Collins and Angus King will vote to confirm Chipman as the director of the ATF. Maine and our country need experienced leaders committed to keeping our communities safe.

John Hagerty

Bangor