Cheers to the Mail Tribune for recognizing in a recent editorial Lincoln's legacy of not only bringing together a fractious nation and saving the union, but his eloquent first proclamation establishing Thanksgiving as a national holiday. "I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens ... to set apart and observe ... a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens."

Continuing, he said, "To implore the imposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purpose, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and union."

Powerful words then and now. Washington's farewell address had the same flow. "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert the great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and citizens."

We don't think or speak that way anymore. Maybe we should before America is no longer America. — Joel Marks, Medford

You can witness inexperienced elected officials in action by looking at the recent financial debacle in the Rogue River School District.

Transferring Evans Valley Elementary School, an asset worth more than $250,000, to a self-serving community group was a major financial blunder. Vince Ceriello opposed it because the board had unequivocally abandoned its fiduciary obligation. The agreement allows for some public use, but RRSD must utilize assets for the benefit of our students, not the general public.

This nonprofit group significantly reduces our income by taking students away from our district, thus negatively affecting future school budgets.

The board lacks the courage to oppose special interest groups. It had no idea of the 28-acre property value, and didn't even consider putting it on the market. Retirement center builders and other buyers would be interested. One board member said, "We did not want to put it up for sale." So they simply gave it away? Why not sell it and use the money to improve the dire needs of our other schools?

Elected unopposed, many board members lack experience directing a multi-million dollar organization. You see why our public schools are such a mess? Isn't it time for some changes? — Howard Wand, Rogue River

The chosen people are using F-16s for bombing the pitiful population they have imprisoned on the Gaza Strip. How long can we, the lovers of freedom, stand by and allow this crude destruction of poor families? The U.S. and the United Nations created this nightmare, and we need to stop what's happening: the genocide of the Palestinian people.

Our media try to pretend that the Palestinians are instigators of the violence, but open your eyes. Who is the most violent? It happens every four years before Israeli elections. As a taxpayer here in the U.S., we need to stop sending billions of dollars to the Israeli war machine and stop its theft of Palestinian lands.

Write your congressman and senators. I am. — Marie Griffith, Phoenix

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