Letters to the editor — Thursday (12-22-16)
Pray for the people of Berlin and a world in need of peace
Shoppers were killed after being hit by a truck in front of Berlin’s Kaisar Wilhelm Memorial Lutheran Church.
I worshipped at the Kaisar Wilhelm Church as an exchange pastor in the early ’90s. I remember the preacher give a dynamic sermon on Martin Luther King’s message of hope, peace and reconciliation. Leaving worship, I looked across the square feeling that Berlin was a remarkable city of great hope and renewal. Berlin, I thought, had transformed greatly from the Cold War city I had visited in 1978.
Now the same square is a scene of tragic death. This horrifying event reminds us that the difference between life and death is tenuous. My guess is that this tragedy, coupled with the many violent events that are unfolding on the news, will deepen the fear that already grips many. And if history is an indicator of future trends, fear will probably lead to more violence.
There is a danger that rage may overwhelm the kind of emotional clarity that is needed for real leadership. During this last week of Advent, I will pray for the Berliners hoping the people of the world will unite in a determined effort to bring about a reign of peace. But I am not so naive to believe that peace or reconciliation may have a chance on this earth without mutual sacrifice, dialogue, courage and mature leadership.
We bear responsibility for nurturing hope for this planet. This is on us.
— The Rev. John Stirewalt
Wish and work for clean air
This is the season when we look to the year ahead and make our wish lists. As a mother, I have a special list of wishes, one I think will be helpful for all:
• Fewer children suffering from asthma attacks. Asthma is the No. 1 reason why children miss school in North Carolina, and it causes quite a few missed days of work for parents as well. Poor air quality can make breathing disorders worse in both children and adults.
• Safe air quality for children playing outside and adults working and exercising outdoors. We should not risk poor air quality making people, and especially children, sick. Too many North Carolinians are at health risk from poor air quality.
• Electricity from more clean, renewable energy sources. N.C. is one of the leading producers of solar energy; let’s build on our growth and add to our wind energy industry.
• Continued protection of the Clean Air Act that has prevented thousands of illnesses and saves lives.
My greatest wish is that our children can count on clean, healthy air both now and in the future.
— Alison Lawrence Jones
The writer is NC Project Manager fir Mothers & Others for Clean Air, a program of the American Lung Association of the Southeast.
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