Letters to the Editor 4/26/2003

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 25, 2003

Consequences hard for us

to imagine

Dear Editor:

There are three things about war that I believe we know first. For those who do the fighting on the ground, war is hell. A new generation of American soldiers and their families have learned this once again. Second the war battles will not go as planned. We had enough troops to protect the oil fields of Iraq from serious damage, but we did not have enough troops to protect the major historical museums and libraries of Baghdad. Imagine how we would feel if the Smithsonian Institute and the Library of Congress were destroyed.

The third truth is that the results and consequences are not what anyone imagined. When World War II started in September 1939, no one thought that in six years the Soviet Union control one-half of Europe. I doubt that "the brightest and the best" advisors of President Kennedy and Johnson who urged American involvement in Vietnam could have imagined the photographs of the fall of Saigon. When the first Gulf War started, did anyone imagine that twelve years after the war, 15,000 Americans would still have an illness called Gulf War Syndrome?

Did President Bush, Vice-President Cheney, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld or Assistant Secretary of Defense Wolfowitz imagine 1,000,000 Shiite pilgrims coming to Karbala and demanding the United States get out of Iraq and the creation of a theocratic Islamic state similar to Iran?

George Proctor Jr.

Monday we honor our Confederate soldiers

Dear Editor:

Confederate Memorial Day will be observed in Alabama Monday, April 28, with the closing of state and county offices. We respectfully request that you take note of this significant holiday.

Our memorial day had its origin shortly after the War Between the States when Southern ladies began the custom of placing flowers on the graves of Confederate soldiers. The custom gradually evolved into what we in the South know as Decoration Day when all graves are decorated.

As a matter of fact, federal authorities took note of this honorable custom and instituted National Memorial Day in 1868, which is still observed in late May.

We must never forget nor be ashamed of our ancestors, especially those who made the supreme sacrifice for home, family and country.

The Confederate soldier has been complimented as the finest soldier in history despite the overwhelming odds faced. Indeed Southern soldiers have been in the forefront of every conflict in our history, including today in Iraq.

Lest we forget.

Leonard Wilson

Lt. Commander Alabama Division Sons of Confederate Veterans