Remember the last Monday of May is Memorial Day. "Taps" is sounded on a bugle.

The bugle has no keys. It is the simplest bugle call. It uses four notes of the musical scale. The bugle signals the end of the day; all is at rest and all is well.

It is for the soldiers. These sorrowful notes are for all who fought America's wars and served honorably. It is a psalm that will always be there. Veterans and soldiers will listen, and hearing the words and notes will pierce their hearts for all of their lives. Listen!

Day is done

Gone the sun

From the lake

From the hill

From the sky

Rest in peace

Soldiers brave

God is nigh

The notes fade into the sunset, touched lovingly adrift into the silence of air by the lone bugler, who lets out notes to linger and brings tears. As veterans listen, they know it is a salute for them.

Freedom is not free. — Richard G. Joshua, Medford, Vietnam veteran, U.S. Air Force

When you bitch a bit about the "inconvenience" of the cost of $3 gasoline, consider those poor souls that are walking Highway 199 to get to town to buy milk for their children.

Those poor souls can't buy $3-a-gallon gasoline for their old cars. They walk the edge of 199 every day in order to buy enough groceries with their food stamps to last them. They can't carry many groceries at one time — so many "walks" are taken.

And be sure you vote for all the people that made this possible. Their names are Walden and Smith. — Ed Scanlin, Medford

Rick Hake's letter (May 21) does more to promote his opponents' case than his own.

When he talks of "playing" with his guns, he suggests he is part of the "lunatic fringe." To him, and too many others, guns are toys. That's why we need gun control.

The Columbine shooters were "playing with their guns." Seung-Hui Cho was "playing with his guns."

We cannot control psychopaths, but we can control their access to toys. — Scott Wright, Medford

Summer is coming, and with it comes higher gas prices. It's heartening to see all the folks out there choosing bicycling as their alternative mode of transportation. However, there are those cyclists out there who consistently manage to make cycling in Medford dangerous for us all.

You know the ones I'm speaking of. They're the ones always riding on the left side of the road, against traffic. Remember, when you ride a bicycle, you are considered a "vehicle," with the same rights and responsibilities as that big, new, gas-guzzling SUV you share the road with.

Riding on the right provides a predictable pattern for those trapped in the giant moving telephone booths. They know where to look for you and are less likely to hit you, so you're less likely to see me standing over you in your local ER.

Please, ride on the right. It's safer for you, and it makes it safer for the rest of us cyclists. — Mathew Cable, Medford

It is a misconception that "school reform" automatically equals school improvement. Schools and teachers are constantly reforming their practices, but a trend in schools is to contract with an outside source (like Bill Gates via the Oregon Small Schools Initiative) that believes it has developed a panacea for modern education.

As guardians of how kids are taught, teachers need to assess such exterior reform models to determine whether they will be effective. Some are not supported by significant research to have actually caused gains in student performance.

When a new reform model is implemented, it takes a lot of the faculty's energy. Sometimes teachers who were in the classroom are pulled out for oversight responsibilities.

In order to save our energy for the most crucial improvements, teachers and administrators have a responsibility not to just throw in their lot for each "reform du jour" that comes along. So please do not insult our school because we are hesitant — perhaps we will decide this reform is not crucial for our school.

The two high schools in Medford may choose different directions, but each school has different needs, and different directions may be the right thing to do. — Aaron Ford, Medford

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