Letters to the Editor

Voice of the People - June 19, 2008

Take time to read good news

At one point of my life I stopped reading the paper because it seemed like it was filled with nothing but tragedy and bad things that have happened. In the world today, it was just too depressing to read.

I am a subscriber now, and I generally scan through the paper and read the classifieds, but today, I read almost all of the paper.

It touched my heart to see so many good things printed that I just couldn't help myself. It was the first time in a long time that reading the paper made me feel good.

To hear about so many good things going on in the world where money is tight and hopes are low such as the inspiration of the young man on his ride across the county to raise money for leukemia and the children that he inspired to help; the kind efforts to help one of our most noble birds live a decent life; and a thank you from a grateful father to a stranger for a small act of kindness toward his son.

I sat for a long time and thought about these people who are strangers to me and how they put a warm feeling in my heart and a lump in my throat. It made me realize that I have lost sight of how one person can make a difference. That good does outweigh the bad, and that I am very blessed but had lost sight of that.

I want to thank you for the articles in the paper and for printing a few of the good things that are happening all around us and not just the bad. I know that there are many readers like me who now, more than ever, need to hear some of the good that is happening around us. I feel that sometimes the good things go unreported but that they are news, too.

I can say the articles have inspired me to try a little more and to give a little more. Because today I was reminded that some of the greatest things can start from a small random act of kindness. So, I want to thank you again for reporting the good things and brighten up my day and my heart.

Anita Davis Childers


Everyone must follow rules

I normally am touched by Andrew Dys' columns, but this time I believe he is totally wrong. I fully support the school administrators for the way they handle the graduation programs. Every student that walks across that stage has a unique story about his or her journey to graduation.

They were given tickets to give to their loved ones that spelled out in advance what was expected, yet some attendees still feel the rules do not apply to them.

I was blessed to have my husband beside me when our children graduated, but that did not mean I didn't want to shout praises to God that they had safely completed one part of life's journey.

America is a land of rules, and I do not ever wish to live in a society that does not have them. It seems trivial -- be quiet while your kid crosses the stage -- but life is made of moments, and this is a moment that is just as important to the next kid in line as it is to yours. This is the last time the school district has to make a lasting impression on these kids that started with kindergarten; everyone, even adults, must follow rules.

Candee Brakefield

Rock Hill

Ceremony calls for common courtesy

Usually, I like Andrew Dys' columns. But not this time. His attempted tongue-in-cheek poke in the eye to polite society was way off base.

He describes us as "respectful, quiet, dignified" as if those are bad qualities. Perhaps he, indeed, has no class, but that does not give him to right to bash the polite people who generally hold the fabric of society together.

Although it should not have been necessary, these invited guests were told in advance the respect and decorum that was expected of them during this extremely important time in the lives of the students and their families.

For these people to thumb their noses at the hosts of the event (the school officials), only teaches their child, grandchild, niece or nephew that they do not have to obey or show respect to authority figures (parent, teacher, boss, preacher, police, God) or to rules and laws.

They have also shown that not only do they not respect the authority figures, they also don't care about the other parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends who wanted to hear their students' names called as well.

I know that it's a big deal when a child graduates. It's a big deal for all of us. The problem arises when your joyous celebration of your child's accomplishments interferes with my being able to hear my child's accomplishments being announced.

Although it's not very common anymore, it is called common courtesy. Let's all learn it, practice it and teach it to our children.

Karen Smith

Indian Land

Parents shouldn't embarrass children

In response to Mr. Dys' recent column, I would like to say I witnessed my first grandchild's high school graduation, and it was a beautiful, heart-felt and solemn ceremony. I was in awe watching each student walk across the stage, honored by their principal and the school board members there to greet them, and searching the audience for a glimpse of their parents, relatives and friends. I enjoyed watching the seated students as they observed their classmates going through the line, and I wondered what they were thinking, if they all knew each other, if they too were secretly conveying best wishes.

They all seemed so intent, far from bored, throughout the entire exercise. My grandson had three out-of-town family members who did not have a thought or plan of yelling or going to jail. Even though the rules were announced, everyone knows the etiquette of a ceremony, whether it be a church service, a wedding, a funeral or a graduation.

For Mr. Dys to insinuate that applause or calling out names should be allowed at a graduation ceremony is absurd. I would think he would hope out-of-town visitors could witness an elite group of people observing over 300 students receive their graduation certificate with no one yelling, blowing horns or clapping. I might add, it isn't the students who want the embarrassing clamor, but the parents. If the parents want to give their children attention they should find a way at home rather than embarrassing them among their peers and friends.

Almeda Stearns

Rock Hill

Hooray for the cheerleaders

I recently attended my nephew's graduation in Columbia, and something happened which would fly in the face of York County school leaders. A kid walked across the stage, got his diploma and everybody clapped.

He was the first graduate, and most of the audience had no idea who he was. I still don't. But one of the reasons he was cheered was because he had gotten out of his wheelchair and walked the 22 paces. His walk was not elegant, nor was it easy, but he did it! Yet, everyone cheered.

The graduation continued and, yes, people cheered for their graduate, but nobody was arrested. It actually continued on schedule, and the next school started setting up on time. Hmmm.

I have a simple solution to this mess. Give the cheerleaders (family, friends etc.) who were arrested their money back, and go slower next year. Maybe it is time for new leadership.

As for me, if this same seemingly unconstitutional rule is still in place, get out the checkbook because I am going to jail. Hooray for those for those who supported their children.

Chris Davis

Rock Hill

Remember those who died on D-Day

I was pleased to see that The Herald did not forget about D-Day, like a Charlotte paper did, and put the article on the front page. The article implied that there were only five South Carolinians who died on June 6 in Normandy, France. That is not true. There are five South Carolinians buried at the American Military Cemetery in Colleville Sur mer, France. However, not all killed-in-actions from Normandy are buried there. Some KIA remains from Normandy and other battles were returned home after the war for burial in the United States.

There are two men from Rock Hill who were killed in action on June 6 in France. The first battle death from D-Day was Staff Sgt. James Freddie Bechtler, according to The Evening Herald of June 23, 1944. Sgt. Bechtler was shot down and killed on a mission over France. The second battle death from Rock Hill on D-Day was Pvt. Ernest H. "Sonny" Carroll Jr. He was listed as missing in action on June 6, 1944, according to The Evening Herald of July 17, 1944. Pvt. Carroll served in the 121st Engineers, 29th Infantry Division. The 29th Infantry Division assaulted Omaha Beach and suffered heavy causalities. His mother received official notification of his death from the government on July 24, 1944. His father, Ernest Carrol Sr., was serving in the Pacific with the Marine Corps. The indoor pool building at the YMCA on Charlotte Avenue is named after Pvt. Sonny Carroll.

It is important to remember all who died on June 6, as well as all of our veterans who died so that we could have our freedom. Thank you to all of our vets from all of our wars and conflicts.

George Feindel III

Rock Hill