Convoy of vintage military vehicles on cross-country trip stops in Nebraska (copy)

Mike and Colleen Hendrick of Omaha, part of a motorcycle escort for the convoy, check out restored military vehicles in Gretna. The trip to commemorate the Motor Transport Corps convoy is set to arrive in San Francisco in mid-September. The 1919 convoy took 60-plus days at an average speed of 6 mph. “We think we have it bad with potholes, but they had it really hard,” Colleen Hendrick said.

No helicopter parents here

The convoy article in the Aug. 26 World-Herald (“Convoy retracing military’s historic trek across U.S. stops in Gretna”) recounted the difficulties and privation experienced by 300 U.S. Army officers and enlisted men during a 1919 transcontinental convoy from Washington, D.C., to Oakland, California.

According to the article, they traveled via “about 80 vehicles,” and the trip took more than 60 days. Now consider this: In 1911, brothers Louis and Temple Abernathy, who were 12 and 7 years old at the time, accomplished much the same trip traveling horseback from New York to San Francisco in 62 days.

At no point during the trip did they eat or sleep indoors.

This was one of several adventures that included a 1,300-mile round-trip horseback ride from Guthrie, Oklahoma, to Roswell, New Mexico, when they were 9 and 5 years old respectively; a nearly 2,000-mile horseback trip from Guthrie to New York City to meet Teddy Roosevelt; and a final trip from Guthrie to New York on an Indian motorcycle that they had purchased.

These were all before the eldest brother, Louis, turned 14 years old.

Helicopter parents, take note.

Paul Trout, Omaha

Why not ban tobacco?

I have a simple question for Molly Thomas (“Raise tax, cut smoking,” Aug. 26 Public Pulse), regarding her desire for the Legislature to raise the tax on tobacco and “its deadly and addictive products.”

If tobacco is such a terrible and deadly product, why are we allowing it to still be sold?

If there isn’t any redeeming value in using tobacco, shouldn’t tobacco products be banned altogether? Because if raising the taxes will make it unaffordable so as to get people to quit, let’s skip a step and just ban tobacco.

Or is the need for the higher tax revenue from the smoking population more important than saving their lives?

Bruce Zimmerman, Omaha

Cause of mass shootings

Mass shootings and mass killings have been going on long before President Donald Trump entered politics.

It’s sick for the Democrats to blame him. And it’s not always guns. Remember the Oklahoma City bombings.

I don’t know why these killings happen, but for one group of people to blame anyone except the actual perpetrator is wrong and immoral.

Trump mentioned video games, music and movies as possible causes. Maybe he is right or maybe it’s just nothing that can be fixed by new laws and blame.

B.L. Cork, Omaha

Trump could live in Greenland

In the unlikely event that the United States purchases Greenland (President Donald Trump’s idea), could the purchase agreement read that Trump has to live there 10 months out of the year, after he leaves office, and cannot tweet from Greenland?

Monty J. McClean, Omaha

Tlaib’s political stunt

Rep. Rashida Tlaib really loves her grandma. If she can’t visit grandma like the rest of us do — with no news media following us so we can make a political statement — then she just isn’t going. Does that tell you anything about Tlaib? The whole thing was a political stunt on her part — no real love for grandma.

Brenda Ray, Fremont, Neb.

We must do better

The ills of our time are reaching a critical level, as is well-demonstrated in our social, political and economic existence: The individualism we admire has morphed into narcissism, with the importance of “me” to the exclusion of “we.”

A dislike for elitism and its association with intellectualism has morphed into a disdain for any and all facts that one disagrees with. Opinion has become fact.

People stay in their bubble listening to only those who they agree with, isolate themselves and make everyone else the “other” who must be fought.

Vaccines that can prevent illnesses are rejected by those who think they know better and place all of us, especially the vulnerable, at risk.

Capitalism, always a questionable equalizer, has been bought and sold by the rich, to work for the rich.

Politics, instead of being for the people of the UNITED States, is nurturing division and hatred. Instead of serving the people, it is serving a few special interests.

Democracy has been co-opted by gerrymandering and voting rights violations.

Instead of being the land of the free, we are trapped in a nightmare directed by the NRA to the point that we are not safe in our homes, schools, places of worship, parks, or anywhere people congregate.

We can and must do better. We are at a tipping point of change. It is up to each of us to act to make this country better.

Rachel Dowd, Omaha

Hurry up and wait

Why do drivers speed past me, usually exceeding the speed limit, only to be stopped at the next traffic light, which has turned red when I get there?

It wastes gas and wears on the brakes.

Virginia Davidsaver, Omaha

Alzheimer’s is relentless

The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research.

I am joining participants of all ages in the fight against the disease at the Walk to End Alzheimers on Sept. 22 at 11 a.m. at Stinson Park in Omaha.

Alzheimers is a growing health crisis and the sixth leading cause of death. According to the 2019 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report, there are more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease, including 34,000 in Nebraska.

I am walking for my mom. I am losing her to Alzheimer’s one piece at a time, and I can’t stop it.

I am walking because there is no cure yet. I am walking in the hope that my son won’t have to lose me one piece at a time.

Please go to alz.org/walk and register to join me so that our children and grandchildren can live in a world where Alzheimer’s has a cure.

Alzheimer’s disease is relentless. So are we.

Sue McCann, Omaha

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