Letters published on Sept. 11, 2017

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Wall That Heals was poignant

Regardless of one’s political views, the Wall That Heals presentation south of town was poignant.

As I walked along its length, I overheard grandmothers explaining to their grandchildren about the Vietnam War, veterans talking about their war experiences there, and I saw my Flathead High School classmate Greg Little’s name amongst the long list of those who fell in those Southeast Asian fields. His photograph along with those of other fallen Montana soldiers from the Vietnam War were also on a display.

The volunteers and all those individuals who made it possible for the Wall That Heals to visit our community should be thanked. —Karlene Osorio-Khor, Kalispell

‘The Wall That Opens Old Wounds’

It would be more accurate when talking about “The Wall,” which travels around showing the names of our Vietnam vets who died, not to call it “The Healing Wall.”

It would be more appropriate to name it “The Wall That Opens Old Wounds” and doesn’t let sleeping dogs — well you get the picture.

To paraphrase a saying by author Eileen Lynch: There’s a strange foreboding in the Wall; it crashes hard upon our hearts, and awakens memories of shipwrecked dreams.

Our family has our brother’s name on the wall and trust us: It heals nothing! —Jerry Wabschall, Kalispell

Weaver, others should read Pope Francis

In the article, “DEQ approves water bottling permit,” Lew Weaver, the property owner and permit applicant, is quoted as sharing with the press his “assertion that this plant will have no adverse effect on human health or the environment, and that fears of high volumes of truck traffic, noise and diminished property values are misplaced.” Over 12,000 residents of Flathead County recently signed their names on a petition either in vehement disagreement with Lew’s conclusion or with intent to allow the people of Flathead County a yea or nay vote on a future ballot. Thousands more from Lake County wanted to sign, but could not.

As a Catholic/Christian, I often wonder if Lew Weaver and some of his fellow Catholic parishioners have ever taken the time to read Pope Francis’s highly regarded 2016 encyclical, “Lautato Si” (On Care For Our Common Home). If so, then perhaps we can all join together in the final prayer from Francis’s Letter to the World which includes the passage, “…Bring healing to our lives, that we may protect the earth and not prey upon it, that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction. Touch the hearts of those who look only for gain at the expense of the poor and the earth…” AMEN. —Nancy McGunagle, Kalispell

Why committee sees need for new school in Whitefish

I want to share with the Whitefish community why I felt it was worth my time, effort, and energy to lead the “Vote YES for Muldown” bond committee and why this issue is so important to me. The critical needs we face at Muldown are something we cannot afford to kick down the road. Yes, we are all weary of spending. And that is one big reason I don’t want to wait. Construction costs for a new elementary school will only become more expensive.

The Muldown Task Force studied the issues at Muldown for nearly a year. In the early meetings, the last thing I ever expected was to recommend building a new school. Yet as the process went on, we learned a lot about the bones of this building as we peeled away the layers. There are serious structural and mechanical issues at the aging school, not to mention needing more space for our students and staff. Ultimately, we saw that the smartest use of taxpayer dollars would be to build a new school. Our trustees agreed when they unanimously voted to put the bond on the ballot.

I have spent years seeing the positive effects of what the staff at Muldown has been able to accomplish with a crowded, aging school. My youngest child will leave Muldown before any of these upgrades may happen but the strength of Whitefish lies in the foundations we build for future generations.

We are a special town and our children deserve the best education we can offer. The cost of waiting is too much. This is such an important vote for our community. —Mike Powers, Whitefish

History is based on facts, not feelings

I hope I speak for many when I state that I am real tired of the “debate” about the tearing down of historic monuments.

I am a pretty avid reader of history, obviously not something that can be said about the recent tear-down crowd. I am also pretty tired of these little “sensitive” children who seem to be so terribly hurt by facts of history. Fact: Robert E. Lee was an honorable man, who happened to so love his home state of Virginia that he chose to lead the losing side and, after the war, assisted in the reconstruction. Also that he was pleased that slavery ended. Fact: Confederate soldiers WERE Americans, like it or not.

I thought it was a shame that a troublesome fountain was removed in Helena. Yeah, a real threat, for sure ... I also found it interesting that Native Americans objected to it. Really? I think I recall reading that many American Indian tribes were known to hold slaves (does the name Sakakawea sound familiar?). Perhaps these snowflakes should try reading a little more and whining a bit less. —Jack Gordon, Columbia Falls

We don’t build monuments to murderers

My father got away with murder. He worked in the Louisiana oil fields in the 1920s. He got into a bar-room fight with a man who broke a beer bottle and put out one of my father’s eyes. When his wound healed, my father prepared a hideout in the swamp and stocked it with supplies. He went to town, found the man and shot him dead. Then he laid low in the swamp for six weeks until the law stopped looking for him. He moved to Texas and went back to work in the oil fields. So, I am the son of a murderer.

I imagine there are a lot of people like me who are descended from murderers, but I’ve never heard of any of us building a memorial to them. I wonder what the inscription might be. Perhaps, a loving tribute to our murderous forefathers? I wonder what city in America would allow us to put such a memorial in a public park. We’re only honoring our heritage, right? Why should anyone be offended? Murder is part of our national history.

When I was young, I did many things that I now regret and remember with shame. So did my country, my race and my species. I own and admit my history, both my accomplishments and disgraces. But I do not venerate the atrocious things I did to other people before I learned to care about them. —Michael Merchant, Kalispell

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