Letters to the Editor

Voice of the People - September 19, 2007

What happened to spirit after 9-11?

Remembrance of what happened that day in 2001 is fading. As a firefighter, I still see the ultimate sacrifice of the 343 firefighters and also the members of the NYPD and Port Authority who gave their lives to save people trapped in the twin towers. It is terrible that people have slowly forgotten the brave soles of that fateful day that changed our lives forever. In the days after 9-11, firefighters, police officers and emergency medical technicians were treated with the respect they deserved. Now, unless you really need them, it is back to the same way it was before the attacks. People bad-mouth the different groups as to why they think they can just run up and down the road with lights and sirens blaring, just so people will have to move out of their way or, maybe, in some way, they just want to be noticed. Trust me, as a firefighter, I would much rather not be called to the scene of a structure fire or a vehicle accident where people are injured. It makes for a bad day.

Some people and some businesses still remember the sacrifices made by all the groups involved, career or volunteer. They take the time to say they appreciate the jobs we perform, and they know they can count on us when things go terribly wrong. From either being locked out of their buildings or the occasional "get the cat out of the tree," there is no difference in the jobs performance. Both are dangerous and can cost a responder's life at the drop of a hat.

People used to wave at the emergency vehicles as they drove down the road; now we get obscene gestures from some people because they see us a wasting their tax dollars out riding around, for what they see as joy riding. They don't think to ask what is going on. We might be going to support emergency medical technicians with the movement of a patient or maybe going to one of the local businesses to do a pre-plan of the building so if there is an emergency in that building, we would know what the contents are and how to handle the situation.

I am a 30-year career volunteer firefighter for a small town in South Carolina and have seen the good and bad in all people. And, agreed, seeing the good in people is always better. We all just need to remember that we are Americans and get along accordingly, regardless of skin color or backgrounds. If you don't like it, then I am sure some other county would be glad to have you visit their country and learn their way of life.

Ronnie Bangle

Rock Hill

Don't waste money on artificial turf

I can only hope and pray that the view of school board member Jim Vining is taken seriously by others in the decision-making process. He suggested the funds being considered for artificial turf be directed to academics and operations. Amen!

Many of our schools are housed in aging buildings with constant maintenance needs, and let's not forget the students and teachers. Ask any teacher where they would like to see the $2.5 million surplus spent. Smaller class sizes, more specialized teachers, and extra instructional assistants could make a huge impact on the academic success of many students who struggle in our district's burgeoning classrooms.

Jo Anne Pafford

Rock Hill