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Letters to the editor — Sunday (12-11-2016)

What about freedom to choose?

America, land of the free and opportunity, might I ask, what happened to the freedom of opportunity to choose whether we wanted something or not without being punished? When, where, how and why did our rights become diminished to saying no?

What’s next, America? What right of freeedom will we lose next?

I thought we were trying to stop bullying in America. So where do we go for protection to not be forced into doing something against our will without being punished? I’m talking about health insurance. Whether we want it or can or cannot afford it, there is a penalty or punishment if we choose not to accept it.

If I’m missing something, someone please point it out, because at this point what I’m missing is our freedom to choose whether we want something or not. I can’t speak for everyone, but as for me, that something that I want is what is supposed to be so grand about America, which is allowing the freedom to choose.

— Johnny Worth Sr.

Salisbury

 

My friend Art

I was first introduced to Arthur Bocchino as he was on one of his many walks in downtown China Grove. He was in his early 80s and walking was one of his activities after having heart surgery. He would visit places in China Grove on his walks such as the local barber shop where problems of national, state and local interest were discussed and solved.

Another of his stops was at Dale’s Sporting Goods to visit with “the boys,” as he would say. In our discussions we learned that he was from Far Hills, N.J. His parents, Joseph and Concetta Bocchino, immigrated from Benevento, Italy, and raised seven daughters and six sons, all being first-generation American.

Arthur was a veteran of World War II, serving in the Army. In fact, all of his brothers were veterans of WWII. Eddie and Albert also served in the Army. Steve and Armand served in the Marines and Mario served in the Navy. To have all six sons in the service at the same time must have been hard for their parents.

Arthur was a replacement soldier at the D-Day Invasion. After crossing the Rhine, he was clearing a house, searching for German soldiers, when a shell hit the house and collapsed on him. He suffered concussion injuries and was awarded the Purple Heart. He was the only brother injured during the war.

The last time I talked to Art was on Veterans Day 2016. I called him to thank him for his service. He passed away a few days later at the age of 91. He was taken back to New Jersey to be buried with his brothers. He is survived by his son, Artie, and his brother, Albert.

Thanks to all veterans who served and continue to serve to protect our freedoms, which many take for granted. To art, thank you and rest in peace.

— Steve Beaver

Salisbury

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