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Memorial Day not a soapbox

Published June 02. 2012 09:01AM

Dear Editor:

I am writing because I take exception to your front page news article on Monday, May 21, titled "Memorial service set in Lehighton." I regard it as a back-door attempt to get some free publicity for Ronald Rabenold.

It was not very long ago when I wrote you another letter which you refused to publish stating that it was the policy of the TIMES NEWS to not take sides in political elections. If that is the newspaper policy, so be it. But don't insult my intelligence by harboring a double standard, violating your own policy when it is convenient, most specifically at the expense of our veterans on this most sacred and noble day honoring them.

Since John Logan, the Commander in Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, declared it so in 1868 Memorial Day, or as it was called then Decoration Day, has been all about soldiers and their bravery. Some of these soldiers who paid the price for our freedom were members of all different political parties. This is a cheap back-door attempt for some free publicity.

Your news article stated Ronald Rabenold, fifth grade teacher and state representative candidate, will be the speaker at the Union Hill Cemetery. In keeping with your policy, it would have been appropriate to state that he is a fifth grade teacher. However, being a state representative candidate has nothing to do with being a fifth grade teacher nor a speaker at a cemetery and should not have been part of that news article.

You indirectly stated that state representative candidate is not a title because you did not capitalize it. However, you did capitalize Col. as in Weiss. You did capitalize Rev. as in Michael E. Ahrensfield. You did capitalize American Legion Past Post Commander as in Harry J. Wynn III. You did capitalize Chaplain as in William H. Gross and James H. Wentz. You did capitalize Lehighton Mayor as in Donald Rehrig. You did capitalize Carbon County but you should have also capitalized commissioner as in Wayne Nothstein. But you did not capitalize state representative candidate. It is not a title and it had no need and should not have been in that news article. It was a cheap back-door attempt to politicize Memorial Day.

Memorial Day is not about elections or campaign speeches. It is about brave military veterans, many of whom made the supreme sacrifice. The TIMES NEWS owes them and the Carbon County United Veterans Organization, who work so very hard to honor them, an apology.

I remain,

Lee Becker

East Penn Township

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