LETTERS: Honor first responders; Fighting poverty; Discuss before changing name

Honor first responders

The recent deaths of two local police officers in McAllen who were responding to a domestic disturbance reminds us of the difficult job all law enforcement officers have. They were both shot immediately, without a chance to use their weapons.

Today there is a call to have a social service team respond to certain domestic incidents. No amount of training can prepare this new service for the possibility that the call for their services will be arbitrated by voice rather than by force.

Currently we are defunding and demeaning our law enforcement, causing many to request retirement; some are even quitting the force. Many have suffered serious injuries while performing their required duty. Our public safety is now at risk.

It was not too many years ago that law enforcement was referred to as “our finest.” Rather than tear them down we need to show our respect and appreciation by honoring them with a national single day of appreciation. Congress has a resolution held in committee for more than two years to honor first responders. It needs passage now as a new start to instill renewed honor in their dedicated service to all Americans.

The time is long overdue.

Bob Sweeney

Warwick, RI

Fighting poverty

Extreme poverty is an ongoing issue that has taken the world by storm. Many individuals don’t wish to turn their heads and look at the prevailing issue that we face as humanity, or others might say that it is too big of an issue to handle all on our own.

There is more that we can do as individuals and as a community, which is participating as advocates for extreme poverty such as the Borgen Project does.

The Borgen Project aims to eradicate extreme poverty through the power of advocating and speaking to our congressional representatives (Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, R-Texas, and U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, D-McAllen), as they are much more than just politicians. They are individuals who can co-sponsor bills to help those abroad.

The Borgen Project aims to mobilize individuals to speak to and email our representatives, and essentially make our voices heard to create a change abroad.

Also, another way to help is through donating to the project, as an ambassador of the project I do not receive a penny, but it is used to fuel the fight against extreme poverty.

Eradicating extreme poverty aids in adding economic opportunities with the creation of foreign investment and developing nations that need help.

“We need to stop viewing it as an aid. It’s an investment,” former Secretary of Defense Jack Hagel says.

Eradicating extreme poverty aids in reducing the recruitment of innocent young minds for terrorist groups as sometimes this is the only source of income that is available in those countries, but with foreign aid or foreign investment this would not be the case anymore!

This is not a “they” fight; this is an “us” fight, and we too can help!

Frank Lopez

Edinburg

Discuss before changing name

I went to Robert E. Lee Elementary in 1958 as a third grader and all the way through sixth grade. As I walked into the school for the first time, I noticed a large diorama in the main hallway.

It depicted a Civil War battle in which Lee was commanding. I was so enthralled about it that I began to read about the Civil War. In my early readings, I can’t recall reading Lee having slaves. It was much later that I read Lee, as well as Ulysses S. Grant, had slaves.

There is no excuse for an individual to own another human being. I believe there should be a dialogue on these schools to be renamed. But to immediately demand that the Edinburg school district change the name without any discussion borders on totalitarianism. Any dissenting view is automatically shot down.

As someone once told me, “Named school buildings do not harm students. They become what they are by how they apply on what they learn.”

Lee Elementary had fantastic teachers who challenged you.

Like everything in life, there are changes that make people uncomfortable. I know I will be vilified and called names. As a Vietnam veteran, I’ve been called worse by people I don’t even know. But it is your right to voice your opinion, as well as I am entitled to mine.

In the end, Lee Elementary School will be renamed, and I am sure that the new name will be bound to offend someone.

Rudy Escobar

Fort Worth

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