Letters to the editor

Posted: May 21, 2013

‘Brave Benghazi’

The Benghazi tragedy and subsequent coverup represents one of the low points in recent American history.

Regrettably, the vast majority of the national media chose to ignore Benghazi. Recently, however, cracks in the coverup have developed as several brave survivors have come forward to tell their stories.

It would be an even greater tragedy if those responsible for the coverup were not exposed and held accountable. My thoughts on the matter are expressed in the following poem, titled “Brave Benghazi,” written soon after the Sept. 11, 2012, attack.

I grieve to see,

A part of me,

A part of America —  Brave Benghazi — Torched!

Brave Benghazi Heroes,

Posted there by those who did not care,

Cried out, their pleas unheeded,

Valiantly fought back,

Vainly waiting for that drone attack.

Then overwhelmed

Were murdered, while those at the helm,

Pulled the “covers” up,

And slept through the hellish night!

Brave Benghazi — we pledge to capture  the elusive echo of that

cowardly “stand down” command,

that paused the SEAL Rescue, and sealed your fate.

Brave Benghazi, you will never die again,

“After the first death, there is no other”*

But somewhere

Brave Benghazi lives,

Stevens, Doherty, Woods & Smith,

Never again forgotten.

*“A Refusal to Mourn the Death, By Fire, of a Child in London,” Dylan Thomas.

Bernard M. Swope


Not Benghazi, but warning ignored?

Most Americans agree that warnings of a terrorist attack against the U.S. embassy in Benghazi were ignored. This resulted in the deaths of four brave Americans.

Now, Winchester is not Benghazi, but were warnings ignored concerning the recent discharge of a Winchester Police officer’s gun on a school bus? I’m sure Chief Sanzenbacher will conduct an internal investigation into this incident.

First, maybe he should interview Capt. Doug Watson to determine if he knew that the holsters had a defect.

Second, find out how long ago this was brought to his attention.

Third, determine if a demonstration of the defect was offered or performed for him, and what he did to immediately correct the problem.

We should all take a deep breath and be very grateful that no children, police officer, bus driver, aide, or bystanders were seriously injured or killed.

Robert A. Rush


Echoing Rhett

In response to Doris Brown’s letter, “Bearing Witness at Apple Blossom” (Your Views, May 8): For years, Ms. Brown has aggravated the public by writing “her views” about various subjects to The Winchester Star.

She does not believe in gays or homosexuality, or breaking the Sabbath Day, and God forbid if a young woman gets sexually assaulted; the fetus must not be aborted, even if it may emerge drug-addicted or a moron.

Whatever these situations, in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 the Bible reads, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

“For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”

But Ms. Brown, as Clark Gable’s immortal words once said, “Frankly my dear, (We) I don’t give a damn!”

P.C. Richards

Frederick County

A joyous ride for Sen. Byrd

We, as friends and neighbors, were glad to see former U.S. Sen. Harry F. Byrd Jr. riding as the honorary grand marshal in the 86th Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival’s Grand Feature Parade on May 4.

We do not know of anyone who enjoys riding in the parade as much as Sen. Byrd, who especially enjoys the festival each year.

We hope Sen. Byrd’s health will permit him to ride again next year! Perhaps, we will be able to see him ride when he reaches his 100th birthday as a Special Grand Marshal, and as the only surviving member of the Queen’s Court from 1924.

Edwin and Betty Orndoff


Pick the pro-life candidate

Throughout a 20-year career, Del. Joe May has received high ratings from pro-abortion organizations, while continuing to claim to be pro-life. This claim is completely fabricated, and the truth needs to be made known.

May has voted numerous times against legislation intended to protect human life in the womb, while his campaign continues to send out multiple mass mailers across the district that defines May as a “pro-life” candidate.

Voting this way is not pro-life; it is distinctly anti-life (pro-abortion). His latest support of Planned Parenthood’s agenda is his vote against the “personhood” bill. Their stock response to the defeat of the bill: “preserving women’s health” choices. Tell that to the unborn babies, half of whom are girls!

Being truly pro-life comes from a personal understanding that life begins at the moment of conception and should be protected. It’s time the conservative voters in the 33rd District took a hard look at the facts of Joe May’s record and cast their vote for Dave LaRock, truly a pro-life candidate.

Carolyn N. Leeds


‘Ol’ country boy’ — for Sherwood

I’m just an old Frederick County country boy — born, raised, and graduated from James Wood High School.

Some years ago, however, I met a Yankee girl who had moved here with her husband. They owned and operated a tree farm, worked jobs in the community, and raised a lovely daughter. But the best thing of all is she became our delegate to the Virginia General Assembly.

I speak, of course, of Beverly Sherwood. She has true Virginia values — just like our Founding Fathers. She watches and works on our legislation in Richmond — she supports agriculture and police/sheriffs, and best of all, she is very careful with our money!

Beverly will have my vote in the primary on June 11. I hope you will join me at the polls in helping to send her back to Richmond again!

Al Murphy

Frederick County

97 percent in agreement

A review of 12,000 papers on climate change, in the May 15 issue of “Environmental Research Letters,” found that 97 percent of scientists attribute climate change to human activities. Although we’re unlikely to reverse climate change, we can mitigate its effects by reducing our driving, energy use, and meat consumption.

Yes, meat consumption. A 2006 U.N. report estimated that meat consumption accounts for 18 percent of man-made greenhouse gases. A 2009 article in World Watch magazine suggested that it may be closer to 50 percent.

Carbon dioxide, the principal greenhouse gas, is generated by burning forests to create animal pastures and by combustion of fossil fuels to confine, feed, transport, and slaughter animals. The much more damaging methane and nitrous oxide are discharged from digestive tracts of cattle and from animal waste cesspools, respectively.

Each of us has the power to reduce the devastating effects of climate change every time we eat. Our local supermarket offers a rich variety of soy-based lunch meats, hot dogs, veggie burgers, and soy and nut-based dairy products, as well as an ample selection of vegetables, fruits, grains, and nuts. Product lists, easy recipes, and transition tips are at www.livevegan.org.

Nelson Vrooman