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Letters to the editor – Wednesday (8-27-08)

Fire critics haven’t braved the heat
I am a former firefighter with Granite Quarry, and I have been following the Millwork fire fatalities closely. I have found some of the comments amusing, but I have also found some to be downright uneducated and ridiculous. It appears that the people making online comments about the fire have either been in the fire service (which seem to account for the positive comments ) or they are the “general public,” who have never put their own lives on the line for a complete stranger.
Most of these latter comments are hateful and disrespectful. All of these people seem to have the answers to make everything better, but none have offered to step up to the plate and make it happen. I personally know Chief Parnell and Chief Morris, and I believe both of these men to be capable, competent firefighters and officers. Simply put, if it was time for Justin Monroe and Vic Isler to be called home, there is nothing that anyone could have done to prevent this tragedy. I am sure we all know that how much time we have on this Earth is determined long before we ever take our first steps. All of this negativity is unneeded, and how soon we forget that these two exceptional men gave the ultimate sacrifice defending the city we call home.
This whole situation should be used to remember these men as heroes, doing a job so few choose to do. The people making these comments would be entitled to have these opinions if they have ever done this job, but not until then.
Wouldn’t it make more sense if on your Web site you made people identify themselves and take responsibility for their misguided opinions, instead of giving them the option of hiding behind the keyboard?
ó Daniel W. Michael
Rockwell
Political apathy
As I listen to and read the various monologues of individuals who complain about our government, I can only wonder just how many are involved in its political process. True, all Americans have the right to voice their displeasure with government. The current single-digit approval rating of Congress makes that all too clear.
But apart from just voting, how many people are actually involved in our republican form of government? As a republic, we, the people, vote for leaders whom we believe best represent our individual views and values. However, our political process is decidedly more than just a ballot box.
County level political parties are formed from local residents. These local parties elect and send delegates to their respective congressional districts to represent their interest. In turn, delegates from the congressional district and state levels are selected and sent to their party’s national conventions. All of these delegates are involved in the process of formulating the various resolutions, rules, bylaws and party platform. We then expect our elected leaders to govern their deeds and actions by these documents which represent the will of the people. All too often, however, it is the political action committees and the special interest groups which seem to be heard above the voice of the people.
I, for one, am committed to becoming more involved in the political process of our country that will ultimately shape its future. If you agree as I do, then I would welcome the opportunity to converse with you. You can contact me at tyon4@yahoo.com
ó Tony Yon
Gold Hill
Yon is a member of the Rowan County Republican Party and a former candidate for sheriff.

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