Know your history

As the July 4th holiday approaches, I suggest that we try to avoid making the same mistake in our celebration of our country's birthday, as we've made in past years by forgetting to celebrate the names of the 56 men who courageously committed treason, and suffered the brutal consequences, by signing the Declaration of Independence, which made this holiday possible.

For some unknown reason, their names are never on any placards in parades or mentioned in any songs or even mentioned by we celebrants. Let's make it different this year. Learn their names. Assign family members or friends some of the names and ask them to learn more about them.

Do we even know their names? We may be familiar with at least six of them, possibly seven, if you were a fan of the “West Wing” TV show. The president in that drama was named for his ancestor, Dr. Josiah Bartlett, who was one of the first to cheer for independence and sign the Declaration.

All the signers have interesting stories. Let's learn them and add them to our celebration. It seems the least we can do since they pledged their lives, fortunes and honor for us. The well-known six are Thomas Jefferson, who with co-signer, Benjamin Franklin, wrote the Declaration; John Hancock; the Adams brothers, Samuel and John; and Benjamin Harrison, because that was the name of our 23rd president. It was his great-grandfather who was a signer.

But how about the other 49? They shouldn't be left in the darkness of history. Let's bring them all out and thank them for their spectacular contribution to our lives, as one signer said, “for all those still unborn.” Get friendly with a librarian or test the knowledge of your electronic contraption. But, this year, let's celebrate everybody. It seems the least we can do.

Terry Considine Williams, Hudson

 

Violence not unique

A Beacon Journal story on shootings in the Thurmont Road area highlighted Woodland Preschool, just because it happened to be there, instead of dealing with the problem of guns and violence all over this city, and in every neighborhood (“Gunfire forces closing of longtime preschool,” June 24).

The shooting really had nothing to do with the preschool or the church. Stories like yours do not help our neighborhood or address the real problem: citywide gun violence.

A previous story quoted a woman who said she would never drive on Thurmont Road again (“Life feels less safe,” April 7). Certainly, she must have been frightened since she was in the middle of the violence. I can understand her reluctance to drive there; nonetheless I continue to drive on Thurmont all the time going from Castle Park out to Fairlawn or Montrose to avoid traffic. The homes on Thurmont are beautifully taken care of, and not inexpensive, although stories like these can’t be very helpful for the housing market in that neighborhood.

Sally Mueller, Akron

 

Warren stands out

During the Democratic presidential candidate debate on June 26, Sen. Elizabeth Warren was positioned between two male candidates who towered over her in height. But when the debate was over, she towered over every candidate on that stage.

Sam Salem, Akron

 

Initial plea

Let me get this straight: Summit County Common Pleas Court is now staffed entirely by female judges ("Say, 'Girls rule!,'" June 29). Should I ever be charged with what I'm sure would be a low-level felony, I would appear before one of these distinguished jurists.

In the name of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, I hereby retract any statements I may or may not have made which might be construed as being critical of women. Cc: My attorney.

Bill Piurkowsky, Stow