Dear Editor:

I am sending this letter in response to the article "Don't Forget the Veterans" that appeared in the OPED section of your August 18, 2012 newspaper signed by Dennis J. McGinley. Mr. McGinley, first of all, I would like to thank you for your years of service to our great country in the United States Navy. I appreciate and respect anyone that has every served our country, I understand the freedom it provides us all. Thank you very much.

Your opinion states," I am in no way knocking Jim Thorpe National Night Out, I am only saying it should have started in front of the Immaculate Conception Church where services were being held for the 50th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War. NNO is an excellent idea and who ever started it did a good job but remember if it wasn't for the men and women in our Armed Forces there would never be a NNO." You end it by saying, "next time you are having an event and there is another event going on join forces."

Mr. McGinley, my question to you is why did you not contact us to join forces? The Jim Thorpe National Night Out event was first discussed well over a year ago, it was first presented to Borough Council in August, 2011, the first committee meeting was held in October, 2011 and there were monthly advertised meetings each month thereafter. Also, this is a National Event that is held on the first Tuesday in August every year for the last 29 years.

Last year's national campaign involved citizens, law enforcement agencies, civic groups, businesses, neighborhood organizations and local officials from over 15,000 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide. In all, over 37 million people participated in National Night Out 2011. After researching I discovered your event was not announced in the newspaper till August 3, 2012. Mr. McGinley it would be impossible for me to contact 37 million people and insist they change the date of this National Event.

National Night Out was not a one night event, in November 2011 a logo contest was conducted in the school district and fifty students participated. The brochures which started circulating in March, 2012 were created by Carbon County Technical Institute Marketing Department. In April 2012 students from St. Joseph's Regional Academy, Jim Thorpe Area High School and Carbon County Technical Institute joined forces to "kick off "Project 365 at Kemmerer Park, this project still continues and the progress is remarkable.

The Jim Thorpe National Night Out Committee consists of citizens from pre-teen till well into their senior years. Mr. McGinley you as a Jim Thorpe School Board member will be happy to know two of your students won the logo contest, three of your students have attended meetings regularly to plan NNO, two of Jim Thorpe's students canvassed the town for people to sign drug free pledges and have their picture taken, Jim Thorpe's Color Guard team did facepainting at NNO and will be donating the money to the DARE program, and many of your students have and continue to participate in Project 365.

All this went on without you knowing as a Jim Thorpe School Board Member?

Many letters were sent to the faculty and administration at the Jim Thorpe School District. On May 9, 2012, I sent a letter addressed to the Jim Thorpe School Board stating the involvement your students had in the success of the program thus far and for the approval of the use of the field for MedEvac to land.

Mr. McGinley, as a retired U.S. Navy serviceman and an elected public official I find it disturbing that you would try to belittle a group of people who have given up their time and money to commit selfless acts to join together to bring awareness to their community. As a School Board Member you know education is key, why Mr. McGinley I ask, did you decide to bring this public and not handle this in a professional manner and approach our committee.

I write this letter to defend the people that have worked so diligently in the past year to plan a positive event for their community. The citizens that participated in Jim Thorpe's National Night Out should be commended for their efforts and respected. The individuals and businesses that stepped forward to make donations should also be commended. The event was a huge success and will continue each year, so please plan accordingly.

He loves his country best who strives to make it best. ~Robert G. Ingersoll

Cindy Henning

JTNNO Coordinator (Volunteer)

Jim Thorpe