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Your Views: Those who have served protect our freedom
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Letters may be sent to letters@gainesvilletimes.com; sent by fax to 770-532-0457; or mailed to The Times, P.O. Box 838, Gainesville, GA 30503. Please include full name, hometown and phone number. Letters must be confirmed before being considered for publication. They should be limited to one topic on issues of public interest and may be edited for content, grammar, spelling and length. Letters written by or forwarded from other sources and those involving personal matters, business disputes, expressions of faith or memorial tributes may be rejected. You may be limited to one letter every two weeks. Letters and articles submitted may be published in print, electronic or other forms. Letters, columns and cartoons express the opinions of the authors and not The Times.

I recently saw a Jeff Foxworthy T-shirt that had the caption "Home Of The Free - Because Of The Brave." Normally his merchandise is of a comedic nature, but this one to me was serious and thought provoking. It made me wonder how much longer that statement would be true.

As a 10-year veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard, I am concerned about the security and welfare of our country. All of the liberties we enjoy today were won and are preserved by the past and current brave men and women in our military.

What makes it more humbling is that our military today is completely voluntary and these great Americans are choosing to fight and even die for those liberties. My concern is that the number of great Americans willing to stand up and preserve our freedom is dwindling and that our enemies may walk right in without a fight.

Very few Americans since Vietnam ended have served in our military, but all have enjoyed the security and the great riches of our country. I honestly believe that most Americans take for granted the freedoms we all share and they don't have a clue the sacrifices made by our military and their families.

I also am appalled by those individuals I see on TV programs who want us to believe they are great fighters and warriors, but lack the courage to serve their country. In the same vein, individuals who protest against and complain about our great nation (whether radicals, politicians, religious leaders, etc.) should thank God that brave men and women gave the ultimate sacrifice so they could express their opinions even though they were too weak to serve.

To put it in perspective, freedom is a privilege and privileges have a cost.

It is not too late: God bless America!

John Carter
Flowery Branch

Why not give veterans the holiday off work?
As Veteran's Day approaches, I again ask myself the same question that I've asked for many years: Exactly who is being honored?

I am a veteran, but have been a civilian for 25 years. On Veteran's Day, if it is my scheduled day to work, I work. On the other hand, all government employees take the day off with pay, even if they have never even been in the military. Shouldn't it be the other way around. All veterans should take the day off with pay, and everyone else works. Now that's honor!

Wesley Mote
Baldwin

Obama's stance on Illinois law is extremist
It is outrageous that Sen. Barack Obama led the opposition to the Illinois Born-Alive Infants Protection Act when he was an Illinois state senator. This common sense legislation simply recognized any infant who was completely delivered from the mother, and alive, as a legal person.

Obama has given various reasons for his opposition to this bill, including his claim that Illinois law already protected babies who were born alive during abortions. That is untrue. The law in question (720 ILCS 510.6), which comes into play only when the abortionist himself declares in advance that the human being aborted enjoys "a reasonable likelihood of sustained survival ... outside the womb," provided no protection at all to the younger babies born alive during abortions, and very weak protection even to those who were further developed. Nurses testified that they were finding very premature babies, who were born alive during abortions, in the "soiled utility room" at a hospital.

Obama did not oppose the Illinois Born-Alive bill because he thought it was unnecessary; he said himself that he opposed it because he thought it would be unconstitutional to define these babies as legal persons. That is a position that puts him on the extreme fringe of the pro-abortion advocates, which explains why he has so aggressively misrepresented the content of the legislation ever since.

Wanda Freeman
Gainesville

To bring change, time to embrace new ideas
Lamar Wilbanks of Baldwin, in Sunday's Your Views, declared that a vote for Barack Obama is a despicable cowardly act. I take great offense at this statement as a Democrat and as a voter.

William Ayers was involved in student activism during the late '60s and early '70s as were a lot of students and others. Great social and political change was sweeping our college campuses and a lot of it was for the better. A very unpopular war and segregation met their ends to a large degree from the protests.

Obama and Ayers served on the same school board. Would Mr. Wilbanks rather no one try to serve to improve schools?

I strongly disagree that Republican policies did not cause this financial meltdown, as the large companies and wealthy people in our country were given huge tax benefits and free reign to manipulate the economy. Flat middle class wages and increased costs of goods have finally hurt the large companies that sell to the middle class.

I would not classify anyone who would vote for John McCain as a coward or despicable, only that we disagree on economic and foreign policy.

We need some new direction in this country, and increasing numbers of people are willing to give a younger generation the chance.

I am 62 years old and remember the times of the '60s and '70s very well. As a soldier at the time, I was to quick to dismiss the protesters as un-American. But I learned that sometimes only change will come if the American people have to confront the facts at hand.

Ronnie Morgan
Homer

Cuban native's letter is a strong testimonial
The letter written by Gustavo Menocal, a Cuban American, that appeared Monday should be on the World Wide Web and sent to every newspaper in the country. (Of course only a few would print it!)

The headline on Mr. Menocal's letter, "Lessons from Cuba apply to US election," is especially exemplified in two sentences of the letter: "I remember of what happened in Cuba when a young eloquent leader was telling Cubans that we needed a ‘change' based on redistributing the class wealth."
"By the time he was done , all Cubans were equally poor, which also carried the loss of personal dignity."

I would like to thank Mr. Menocal for sharing his personal experiences and for sharing his research into Sen. Barack Obama's questionable background and lack of credentials for leadership.

Kay Titlow
Gainesville

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