Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

Opinion

July 8, 2012

Letters to the Editor – July 8, 2012

Appalled at city's cemetery decision

Dear Editor,

I was appalled this morning when watching Fox News that the Mineral Wells City Council banned the placing of American flags on the graves in Woodland Park Cemetery except on special days as specified. I was a resident of Mineral Wells from 1964 to 1992. In that time, no governmental authority in the city ever considered such a move.

I am amazed that there has been no move to recall the numbskulls responsible for this outrage. What has become of this city?

John W. Clarke, Graham

Keep flag rule as is

Dear Editor,

The Mineral Wells city staff based on recommendation from the Woodland Park Cemetery Board rewrote the policies and regulations for Woodland Park Cemetery. Both the cemetery board and the city council had hearings on the proposed new policies and regulations. Despite the fact that citizens of Mineral Wells have the obligation to be informed no one showed up for the hearings.

After the city passed the new Woodland Park Cemetery policies and regulations what I believe was a totally uninformed citizen started waving the American flag claiming that the new ordinance outlawed the display of flags at the Woodland Park Cemetery. That is not true.

The policy permits flying of an American flag the week before and the week after certain holidays. In addition, in those markers that have a built-in vase a flag could be placed in the vase and flown year around.

Based on a telephone conversation I had with a member of the staff at DFW National Cemetery the new policy regulating the flying of the American flag at Woodland Park Cemetery permit the flying of the flag more days then the policy at the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery.

The city’s machine shop should look at making a flag stand that would fit on top of the markers in place of the vase for those who prefer the flag stand.  

 Being the beginning of a “sweep” month the Dallas-Fort Worth television stations and Fox network pick up the story. Being more interested in ratings, than in accuracy, CBS Channel 11 was the only station to check with the city to verify the facts concerning flying of the American flag at the cemetery. That uninformed citizen and those television stations should have been required to answer the continuous barrage of telephone call that the staff at the city manager’s office received Monday. The city hall staff had to continuously explain that the city did not pass an ordinances prohibiting the flying of the American flag at the city owned cemetery.

 The emails that the city manager received were even worse than the telephone call. Many of them were downright vulgar. Thank goodness Mr. Howerton did not have to respond to the emails. What was so bad about the emails many were not even from citizens of Mineral Wells.

Mr. Uninformed Citizen what you should have done instead of calling the TV stations as you appeared to have done was to work with the city in developing a clip with a flag holder on it that would fit over the side of the markers, therefore everyone that didn’t have a vase holder could fly the American flag the year around.

The joint city council-cemetery board meeting was called to give Mineral Wells residents a forum to express their views on the way they want the city own cemetery to be operated. If you are not a resident of Mineral Wells I don't believe you should attend the meeting.

But I spent 30 years, including time running through agent orange-infested rice fields and forests loading ammunition into a M60 machine gun, to protect your right to make a biblical name of a donkey of yourself. If you are coming to Mineral Wells for a public hearing scheduled for Mineral Wells residents you certainly have money to throw away so while your are here spend some of it. Mineral Wells could use all of the taxes we can get.

To those you have made statements that they believe that a veteran should be on the board just because he/she is a veteran, while you are trying to get the city code changed to require a veteran on the cemetery board make sure that you insist on having a fireman, policemen, African American, Mexican American and Asian American on the board. I think your get my drift.

Mr. Mayor and city council members I urge you not to fall for all this hype. Keep the rules on the flying of American flag as it is. If you decided that you must change the policy and permit the flying of the flag the year around then you should change the policy and permit as an option a single flower arrangement to be placed on the grave site the year around.

Charles Thompson, Mineral Wells

Decision a 'disgrace'

Dear Editor,

It is my understanding that the city council of Mineral Wells has banned the U.S. flag in your local cemetery. If so this is a disgrace to all the veterans who have died to defend that “clutter.” You should be ashamed of yourselves. Freedom is not free; your tab was paid in blood by some American serviceman. It is my fond hope the citizens of Mineral Wells have the courage to say to hell with you and place American flags on the graves of every serviceman or woman who is buried in you cemetery on a regular basis.

I note that your town will be celebrating the 4th with a fireworks show – what a wonderful contrast to the “clutter” in your cemetery and on your city council.

Warren Cohen, Temple, Texas

Thanks given for care, concerns

Dear Editor,

On May 22, I received a jolting reminder of the mortality we all face as humans. Thanks to the quick diagnostic action of Dr. John Jones, the Radiology Department and the staff of the Palo Pinto General Hospital Emergency Room, I survived and continue to regain my health. The PPGH staff all have my unending gratitude.

My thanks also goes out to Dr. Alice Ramsey and her staff, as well as the nurses, physicians and support staff of Fort Worth Medical Plaza Hospital.

Health is a precious gift. These dedicated professionals and their exceptional medical skills made it possible for me to continue to enjoy the love of my family and the personal satisfaction of my work.

On this holiday weekend, as we are bombarded by news of national disagreements and world discontent, we should all stop and take inventory of what we are blessed to have in our lives. I, for one, will be saying a prayer of thanks for the selfless physicians, nurses, and health professionals who serve their fellow citizens each and every day in our community. Thank you.

Also, thank you to the many neighbors, friends, and acquaintances who called or sent flowers and cards. Your concern was touching and served as a source of strength to me and my family in this trying time. Mineral Wells – great people and a great place to live!

J.C. Colton, Mineral Wells

Not-so-proud former resident

Dear Editor,

I am a former resident of Mineral Wells and, until today, was proud to tell anyone who'd listen that I was. This morning, on Fox News, I saw an article about the city council passing an ordinance prohibiting flags "and other clutter" in the cemetery. I assume the one on South Oak Avenue. By what stretch of the term are American flags "clutter?" Imagine my embarrassment.

 I would certainly hope that a city with such a proud history of supporting the military services and their mission would "see the light," as it were, and rescind this ill-considered idea. So what if it makes groundskeepers take a bit of extra time tending graves? That's what they're paid to do, after all.

 I'm a former police officer now 70 years old and, according to my cardiologist, I have one foot in the grave and another on a banana peel. Though I've lived away from Mineral Wells for over 30 years, it was still my wish for it to be my last resting place. Now I'm not so sure. Maybe I'll just have my ashes thrown off of the U.S. 180 bridge into the Brazos River instead.

David A. Jared, Oklahoma City

Fly flags over veterans' graves

Dear Editor,

As a former resident of the Mineral Wells area, I am sending this to the editor of the Mineral Wells Index concerning the decision to remove flags from the graves at Woodland Park Cemetery.

I was shocked and discouraged when I heard on national news that American flags had been banned on veterans' graves at the cemetery. The people who made this decision must have lost their patriotism and respect for the very people who sacrificed and fought for the freedoms that we enjoy and the right to have them.

If you have forgotten what a veteran is, let me remind you of what once was written about them: "A veteran – whether active duty, retired National Guard or Reserve – is someone who at one point in his or her life, wrote a blank check made payable to the United States of America, for an amount of up to and including my life.”

That is honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.

Do you? Please fly those flags over our veterans' graves and give them the honor they deserve. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Floyd Carlton Hill, MSGT/USAF, retired, Spencerport, NY

Liberal and proud of it

Dear Editor,

Yes I am a liberal, and proud of it! I am so tired of certain groups trying to make "liberal" a dirty word. When you look at what the so-called conservative party is trying to do to the American people, I hope being a liberal is carved on my gravestone.

All of my life, I have been faced with decisions containing "right and wrong." I can plainly see what is really wrong in the political divide in America and Texas. The 1 percent greed of the Washington right wing is so hypocritical with their 2010 Tea Party extremists, House of Representatives and their corporate masters.

I have often been asked if I believe in Heaven and hell, in Christianity. I believe in regard to politics, I would much rather be in the 99 percent of Democrats, rather than taking the great risk of affiliating myself with those Republican politicians who continually rail to take survival programs from the poor and the disabled, the sick and the elderly.

Placing the nation's economic burden on the backs of the working poor, then giving it to the billionaires, like the Koch Bro's, the pharmaceutical corporations and the oil companies, is not my idea of being a real Christian value, or virtue. Its time for the 1 percent wealthy Americans to pay their fair share in taxes.

So do I believe I would rather die as a liberal than a so-called conservative? You bet I would! At least I have a clear conscience and I can sleep at night. As far as hell is concerned, I believe it is a separation from God, for eternity. I would rather associate myself with those who Jesus predominately was found with, not the money changers, not those elitist who were dominated with avarice and greed.

The Bible says, it is easier for a camel to go thru the eye of a needle, than a rich man to go to Heaven. Matthew 19: 23-24.

Darwin Yeary-Weatherford, Weatherford

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