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LETTERS: Celebrating Independence Day, and, do you want freedom?

LETTERS: Celebrating Independence Day, and, do you want freedom?

Independence Day


Today we celebrate the arrival of the United States of America onto the world stage. As a member of American Legion Auxiliary Kiltonic Unit 72, I want to personally thank all servicemembers of the Armed Forces of the United States of America for their innumerable contributions to protecting our freedoms and keeping our nation safe. 

I also want to thank the families of deployed servicemembers for their strength and their sacrifice. Our country is great because of you.

In your honor, I want to invite everyone in the Southington community to take a moment with me today and pause in recognition of those who have fought and those who continue to fight for our freedom.

Founded in 1919, the American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) helps to advance the mission of The American Legion.

With nearly three-quarters of a million members, it is the world’s largest patriotic service organization and one of the nation’s most prominent supporters of veterans, military, and their families. ALA members volunteer millions of hours annually, with a value averaging $2 billion each year. From helping to draft the GI Bill in 1944 to advocating for veterans on Capitol Hill, the American Legion Family has been instrumental in advancing legislation that improves the quality of life for our nation’s veterans. To learn more and get involved, visit www.ALAforVeterans.org. 

May God bless you all. 

Sheri Della Vecchia, president, American Legion Auxiliary Kiltonic Unit 72,

Do you want freedom?


It has become a disturbing trend these last few years where everything seems to become hyper-partisan, even common sense. With few institutions left that aren’t split into left and right, I thought I would rely on something we all love: Freedom. And I have a simple solution to everyone who loves it: Wear a mask.

Now, I am talking about real freedom, not railing against an imaginary Uncle Sam who punishes you by having to smell your own breath. I am talking about  the ability to go where you want to go when you want to go there. Freedom is also the ability to allow others to do the same.

This, because of this pandemic, is being threatened. People who want freedom are held indoors as they consider their health and those of their loved ones.

This problem is exacerbated by people who disregard advice from the medical community for one bizarre, misinformed reason or another.

So, I have a very simple question: Do you want freedom?   

Do you want to go to a Yard Goats game next season?

Do you want to send your kids off to school and ensure that they stay there till June?

Do you want to go to a grocery store and bop around in any direction like a pinball?  

All these things can be accomplished if you wear that mask! Let common sense and courtesy prevail. Because if you don’t, in your own small way, you are helping this disease stick around. 

Mike Czarkowski, Durham

It’s a work in progress


Almost all would agree current protests seeking equal justice and equal opportunity for all in our country are overdue. Many would agree removing (not toppling) from public property statues relating to the Confederacy and renaming military institutions named for members of the Confederacy is appropriate. However, many more would disagree with toppling/defacing statues and monuments recognizing Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Grant, Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and the all-Black 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, Colonel Hans Christian Heg (abolitionist killed in the Civil War), those honoring members of our military, etc. … It is important we recognize and acknowledge some of those individuals had severe character flaws and not simply dismiss those flaws as being the result of the period in which they lived. 

However, it is also important to consider how the land in which we live today would be shaped without those individuals. Would we have a Constitution, which has been amended 27 times in an attempt to make our country more just? Would we have a United States of America along with a Confederate States of America? Neither those individuals nor our country were/are perfect; our country remains a work in progress with respect to providing justice and opportunity for all. However, toppling/defacing statues and monuments detracts from the purpose of the protests and the message which they are attempting to deliver; it only further divides our country at a very divisive time.

In the interest of consistency, I suggest those supporting a continuation of the toppling/defacing, who are attending/have graduated from universities and colleges named after, or having facilities acknowledging slave owners, those trafficking in slavery and/or supporters of segregation (there might be at least one such entity in Connecticut), consider demonstrating their “wokeness” by burning their diplomas, purging their résumés and engaging in protests until the names are changed.

Jim Seichter, Wallingford

Living your values in Meriden


If you value social equality, racial justice, the environment and taking action to make the world a better place, you can feel proud to live in Meriden. Anyone wanting a home or business in central Connecticut should strongly consider moving here. Being part of a diverse and committed community demonstrates that you care about positive change and you can contribute to strengthening Meriden’s progress.

Meriden offers a wide range of housing options to suit the needs of our very well diversified population and to sustain a broad range of incomes and lifestyles. Our civic leaders embrace initiatives to help everyone. Meriden is a good spot for those who put art, culture, community, and family over material success. The chance to live with so many kinds of people promotes tolerance and understanding. You will enjoy the many Meriden residents who respect all people and are humble and thankful for successes in their own lives.

Meriden features traditional town-style streets and lots with city water and sewer.   Homes closer together bolster a sense of community and help neighbors become friends. Smaller lots are easier on the environment than sprawling lawns that are ecological deserts and generally require chemicals that are toxic. Updated sewers keep our waste out of the soil and water. Meriden has many beautiful parks and trails enhanced by Meriden’s leadership in Sustainable CT.    

Education well suited to the future success of students of all backgrounds and aspirations is fundamental to social equality. Our teachers and students [who win honors] offer varied curriculums in very nice facilities.

If you believe individual actions can produce positive change, consider living your values in Meriden.

Dave Rauch, Meriden

We support you


I know it's become fashionable to depict all of our men and women in blue as sadistic Cossacks riding down innocent citizens, but I've become personally acquainted with a number of law-enforcement officers who put more value in protecting and serving your life and mine, over there own well-being! All law enforcement personnel put their lives on the line daily to protect & serve our families, friends and loved ones!

There is no question that there are a few professionals who cross the thin blue line and this is 100% unacceptable and cannot be tolerated — but that does not justify the current unjust barrage of propaganda and disrespect that these hard-working officers are forced to endure, risking their lives to safeguard our civility.  

Look at the thugs who are destroying communities, beating down innocent men and women — is that really the type of society that we want?  

I want to express MY TOTAL SUPPORT for the men and women in blue along with our entire public safety family. Stay strong. You have an army of supporters who value and support you!

Thank You & God Bless America.

Bob Williams Jr., Meriden

The writer is a Meriden city councilor.

You can’t erase history


History is history. The statue of Christopher Columbus is a salute to an explorer of Italian heritage who sailed to prove the world was not flat and in doing so discovered America. The statue was a gift from the Unison Club, not a religious gift from The Knights of Columbus.

We fought a war to abolish slavery, a war that took more American lives than any war since, and yet we continue to forget that we are all created equal and that all lives matter.

Here Is a question: How far back do we need to go, our first President George Washington, the founding fathers of our Constitution, maybe even the Roman Colosseum?

You can’t erase history but certainly we can learn from it. I am an American and proud of our past and hopefully our future.

Richard Gill, Meriden

About those trash bins

C’mon Man!

What a great expression, made popular by our friends (ESPN) in Bristol. The idea is that something is almost impossible to believe. Fast forward to this week’s delivery of our new trash disposal containers for Inner District trash. Residing in a single-family home, we were surprised to see two large green buckets in our driveway. We immediately called HQ Dumpsters to let them know that they could pick one up. They were very grateful and said that they were given a list by the town. 

Recognizing a challenge when I see it, I immediately did a quick neighborhood survey. How about a block where 7+ single-family homes were given multiple buckets One block!

Here’s the issue: How many structures do we have in the Inner District? Was the new contract based on households, structures, taxpayers, etc.? Could the town have saved a few bucks for us taxpayers by “doing it once, right”?

This is most definitely not a political party issue, it is one of competence.

Dennis Tobin, Meriden


A house divided by race


A few observations regarding institutional discrimination. It all boils down to fairness. In order for fairness to occur, we have to identify the problem and work to address it. As citizens, when we see unfairness, we are supposed to speak up. When there has been a history of discrimination against a minority group, it is easy to see how those years of discrimination have become ingrained in our policies and ways of doing things. 

I am ashamed of the fact that more is not being done to identify and eradicate this disease. I look at the demonstrations and riots and see utter despair. Why have we been remiss in our training? Why have our great universities and our legal system been remiss? We see it but don’t do anything about it out of sheer convenience. We see it as parents, as teachers, as professionals, and just ignore it. We then become part of the problem that fosters hate. I keep hearing it: “I did not enslave anyone.” Not true, when we ignore and foster the problem.

That these societal abuses continue illustrates a profound and intentional disregard for the human rights of our American citizens. This evil can only be eradicated through education and a dynamic approach to identifying and eliminating it. Society has got to do more. We, as members of society, have to do more. Yes, we all know there is a problem. Now we have to commit to doing something to eliminate the problem. It is truly unfortunate that people have to be abused and killed, again and again, with no concrete changes. Change in this country is supposed to be peaceful. When peaceful, no one seems to listen. As long as institutional discrimination exists, there really can be no peace. We are a house divided, which cannot stand.

Frank P. Cannatelli, Wallingford

The writer is a professor of political science at SCSU.

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