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Letters to the Editor

Memorial Day reflections

The following poem was inspired by seeing my 76-year-old dad, J.G. Maughan, carrying the American flag at the head of the Memorial Day parade in Morris. He always hung the flag on holidays and included all of us kids in that activity. He loved his country and taught his children love and respect for the American flag and the sacrifices made for our freedome. When our oldest daughter, Bonnie, was three years old, she memorized this poem and recited it on junior Sunday school at our church. She, too, can still recite it to this day.

When Grandpa Carried the Flag

When mama was just a little girl on Memorial Day,

She went to see the soldiers march, and hear the trumpets play.

And there at the head of the people marched a man both brave and tall,

Carrying our flag, "Old Glory," a flag that was loved by all.

My mama stopped and saluted, as her daddy had taught her to do.

She knew that men had died for her, men so loyal and true.

She placed her hand upon her heart to show how she loved this land.

A feeling swelled within her, for her country great and grand.

I love this beautiful nation, the homeland of the free,

And I'll stand and salute when our flag goes by, for she means my life to me.

Ruth Maughan Foster

Lewiston, Idaho

Leave emergency responders alone

During the garage fire that occurred on May 20, I had the unfortunate privilege of having a front row seat. My house just happens to be a few doors down and I was outside at the time. I am always amazed at how an event like this can bring out both the best and the worst in people.

I am not sure exactly how long it was between the time when I first saw smoke and the time that the police and firefighters had responded, but it wasn't more than five minutes. Quite impressive, really, considering it is a volunteer fire department, meaning the firemen are not sitting around the station house waiting for calls to come in. It is nice to have such dedicated firefighters and police that respond to these situations as quickly as they do. I would like to thank you for the work you do.

What was equally unimpressive, was the response time of the bystanders that events like this attract. I saw people driving up to the scene and parking all over the block. I saw an entire family of four, with the children being no more than 5 years old, walking towards the scene! I saw people pestering the police and sheriff's deputies, who were trying to keep people away, in order to get any information they could. My questions to these peopleare, "Why on earth do you want to get so close to something like this? What if there are combustible materials (i.e. metal gas can) in the garage? What if instead of keeping your family safely in your house a few blocks away, you now marched the whole family to within half a block of a burning structure and something does blow up?"

Unless you get a call to respond to a situation like this (police, fire, EMS), stay out of the way. If you didn't get a call to help out, you are just in the way and a potential victim.

Seth Miller