Honor our heroes

Today as we celebrate Memorial Day America will again remember the fallen brave who proudly served and sacrificed for our great nation so all of us can continue to live in freedom.

This freedom cannot be taken for granted. It is here today because it was earned by our special heroes who have given their best and their lives to overcome those who placed us in harm’s way.

In a few years we will observe the 100th anniversary of World War I. I knew a man for 82 years who served in this conflict.

He served nine years with the U.S. Army, enlisting in the Eight Infantry Unit of the First Division in 1913. He spent 33 months overseas and was involved in every drive by the First Division in France.

He was twice wounded in action receiving two Purple Hearts, two Silver Stars, six Bronze Stars for bravery and five Overseas Service Stripes. At interment he received full military honors with color guard.

This man was my dad. My hero.

I was privileged to join my comrades on a recent Honor Flight for veterans of World War II and Korea. Companies and guardians covered the expense of our visiting many memorials in Washington, D.C.

But best was a reception at the airport upon our return to Charleston. It was so emotional it tore at our hearts. Those welcoming us home were members of the military, the Knights of Columbus, the Charleston Police Department’s bagpipe band, the Boy Scouts and hundreds of patriots and volunteers.

If you don’t know a veteran or someone in the military, you need to find someone and humbly thank him for his service before it is too late. It has been done for you and yours.

Mel Price

Lakeview Drive

Mount Pleasant

Holiday meaning

I asked one person (in her late 20s) if she knew the meaning of Memorial Day. “For me it’s a day off of work and a day at the beach” came her reply. I cringed inside.

I then told her the story about American hero. Sgt Buddy James Hughie was a combat medic who was killed by a sniper while rendering aid to fallen comrades. I won’t go into great detail about him here. You can search his name on the Internet if you are curious.

What I would like the citizenry of South Carolina to understand is why Memorial Day is the day we (as a free people) should pause, reflect and give thanks for the freedoms we so richly enjoy.

Since the founding of this great country there have been 15,230 South Carolinians killed in various wars. Each one is much more than a statistic. Each one of those killed in action were loved deeply by their family and friends.

I don’t believe Buddy would want us sitting around all day thinking of what could have been. So we will go to the cemetery, place a flag on his grave and remember him and what his death represents to our state and country.

Then, and only then, will we go out and have some fun. However, at some point during the day, please pause for a moment and remember the sacrifices that make our freedoms possible.

Michael W. Callegan

Glendale Drive

Charleston

Illegal immigrants

Elected officials debating the illegal immigration issue are not listening to citizens. Most Americans want existing laws enforced.

I do not want individuals who broke our laws to be permitted a pathway to legal immigration while they are still in our country.

Illegal immigrants are trespassers, forgers, tax evaders and moochers who use our roads, schools and health care facilities without paying for them. Their children who were born here should be required to return with their parents to their native country.

Illegal immigrants send a significant portion of their income to their families in their native countries. Some of this money enables other family members to be smuggled into our country.

The illegal smuggling of people, drugs and knockoff products has made the Mexican cartels more powerful than the Mexican government.

I have personally experienced financial loss when my car was totaled by an illegal immigrant with no insurance, no license, no registration and no right to be in our country.

I favor allowing many of the people living here illegally a pathway to a legal status provided they confess their crimes, return to their homeland and apply through our immigration system.

Our government must determine how many immigrants we need, not smugglers.

Joe GilLespie

N. Lander Lane

Charleston

Erosion answer

I have some comments on tbe “Folly erosion” article in the May 10 Post and Courier.

1) DHEC was right to disallow a new sea wall.

2) The City of Folly Beach made a bad decision when it allowed the house in question to be built where it did.

3) The jetties are a major part of Folly’s problem and should be removed. Then Charleston’s entrance channel should be kept at desired depth by dredging. That dredge would also be available to maintain harbor depths.

4) Folly’s decision to allow a house to be built at the outer end of what was once Sumter Drive was even worse, and now just walking on the beach in that area is a challenge.

5) I have owned the lots at and in front of 1711 East Ashley Avenue (next door to the lot referred to above in No. 2) since 1967 and have a 640-square foot cottage which I built there in 1970 and rebuilt after Hurricane Hugo.

I have watched this unfortunate situation grow and detract from people’s enjoyment of the beach and ocean views.

Joseph T. Holleman

West 9th North Street

Summerville

Wrong setting

On May 17 I had the pleasure of attending the MUSC graduation at The Citadel. It was a beautiful day and an exciting time for the graduates and their families. It was obvious that much work and planning went into making the graduation memorable.

However, it would have been appropriate and welcome if the commencement speaker Dr. Donna Christensen (member of Congress) had been able to put aside her political agenda and deliver an address that did not center on the duties of the future health care workers to support Obamacare.

We are all aware, the House voted again this past Thursday to repeal it.

I would suggest that any taxpayer-funded public institution be circumspect when choosing a commencement speaker whose audience may not share his political beliefs.

Maybe at future commencements we can enjoy a speaker who is less concerned about campaigning for support of the Affordable Care Act and more focused on preventive healthy alternatives that don’t involve expansive and expensive government programs.

Graduation should be about graduates, not promoting personal political positions.

Peter Sheehan

Oregon Avenue

North Charleston

Tangled taxes

I don’t understand all the outrage over liberal-leaning IRS agents targeting conservative nonprofit groups applying for tax-exempt status. The bottom line is we are looking for the enemy and the enemy is us.

We have created the most burdensome tax system in all the world. Our tax code, over 73,000 pages, is the world’s longest. It is a system that targets the rich for certain tax advantages and discriminates against the rest.

Over a million paid tax preparers exist and feed the ever expanding “central services.” The problem is that a codified tax system that contains more wordage than any one person can comprehend leads to abuses.

The public is in fear of the IRS, and since it is the great unknown, we should be. Maybe we need a bill of rights specifically for dealing with the IRS. The only way to bring our tax system to the “light” is to eliminate all deductions and establish a progressive fixed flat tax rate.

We cannot do this overnight because it would put too many people out of work (tax lawyers, IRS workers, etc.), but this is something both Democrats and Republicans can start working on tomorrow if they’re serious about their jobs.

PAT KILROY

Milton Drive

Goose Creek