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Our changed reality

Memorial Day this week was like none other for our generation. In the past few weeks we have been given a wake-up call. As a society, we had become confident in our external way of life. Social media, entertainment, modern conveniences, materialism, instant gratification — all seductively contributing to our pursuit of life.

But now, the freedom which we experienced has been taken away. We are forced to deal with a threat we can’t even see. We are experiencing vulnerability. Our confidence in the world as we knew it has been shaken.

As we remembered our loved ones this Memorial Day, we were given a new perspective of life. Why are we here? Why is life so short? What is important? Why do we have suffering? These questions lead us to a new normal, a new reality. We are not in charge. External pleasures are less important than family.

Einstein once said that there are only two decisions we must make in life. We must decide that the world is friendly, or that it is hostile. If it is hostile, we are fearful. If it is friendly, we are free. We can be of value to those in need.

Thank you, World-Herald, for not only providing statistics of COVID-19 but also for reporting what our friendly heroes are doing. Hospitals, nursing homes, packing plants, prisons and jails, police, fire, teachers, grocery stores, neighbors helping neighbors. All those who serve us on the front lines. This was a Memorial Day for the ages. Statistics will be written. Heroes will be remembered.

Richard Vondenkamp, Omaha

Health security for all is vital

There has been an increased sense of uncertainty and insecurity throughout the coronovirus pandemic because as people lose jobs, they lose their health care as well. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Every other market-based democracy in the world has decided that health care is a right that should be available to everyone regardless of your employment status, simply because you are human.

This uncertainty and insecurity does not have to stay this way. When you vote this November, there is one party that wants everyone to have health care regardless of their employment status, and there is one party that does not. We can create our own misery or we can change it.

Tom Kelly, Omaha

Get the facts on mail-in voting

Once again, people are trying to confound an issue by making false arguments. When the president says that he opposes a vote by mail system, people expand this to assume that he opposes absentee ballots, which have been used for decades. The two are not the same.

An absentee ballot must be requested. It is sent to a specific address noted in the request and requires a signature on the request. A vote by mail system would send a ballot to all names on a voter registry. The name on the registry could be of someone that is dead, someone that has moved and now is registered in another district, or someone that is now married and registered under a married name.

There are many ways where a ballot could be sent in error, leading to voter fraud. When there are reports of voter roles that contain more people than actually live in a city, it is easy to see that the voter roles are not always accurate.

It is fine to have a debate, but debate the actual issue instead of attacking a false narrative.

Tom Buglewicz, Omaha

So much overreaction to Sasse

With a groan, I see yet another two Public Pulse letters in the May 25 edition regarding Sen. Ben Sasse’s address to the Fremont High School class of 2020. Can this possibly get more political mileage?

In reading all the furor, I couldn’t help but think back to a commencement address delivered a few miles west down Highway 30 to the North Bend Central class of 1971. The speaker was none other than State Sen. Ernie Chambers. I wonder if Mr. Chambers remembers this occasion? I had just finished my eighth-grade year and was likely elevated to the high school band to fill in gaps left by the graduating seniors.

I certainly cannot recall a comparable fuss over this seemingly most unusual choice of commencement speaker — and my father was a school board member at the time. Yes, there were a few comments about Mr. Chambers’ white T-shirt attire, but not to the degree of those regarding Mr. Sasse’ unshaven face and loosely tied tie.

Could it be in 1971 that seniors were more resilient and their parents more tolerant?

Barbara Gay, Columbus, Neb.

Fremont alum’s comment

I’d like to applaud Ted Husar for his May 22 Pulse letter written in response to Ben Sasse and his “humorous” address to the 2020 graduates of Fremont High School.

I also knew Ben growing up. Our dads taught and coached together, we rooted for the Huskers together, we detasseled together, we swam at his parents’ house together, we played baseball together, and we wrestled for Coach Husar together.

Perhaps the most troubling aspect of his address was the way he spoke not only of Coach Husar’s profession, but also that of another great coach and psychology teacher, Mr. John McMullen. Two years ago he was finally honored when FHS named their wrestling invitational after him. Mr. McMullen embodied all that was good about teaching and coaching.

It’s too bad we live in a time when people like Ben think they can just say whatever they want with complete disregard for how their words affect others.

It saddens me that this is how he remembers our school, our sport, and our teachers and coaches. Evidently, he didn’t learn a thing from that experience.

I wonder, Ben — what would Coach McMullen say? My guess is you probably don’t care. Your address to the hard-working class of 2020 proves I am correct.

Aaron Finley, Lincoln FHS Class of 1991

Biblical message

Regarding the May 24 Pulse letter from Victoria Cork: If you can read the Bible and find no place where God helped his people to bear arms, you just aren’t looking.

In just 10 minutes I found six references where God helped people to fight evil people: Joshua 1:1-18 and 5:13-15; I Samuel 17:20 and 17:41-53; II Chronicles 20:15; and Jeremiah 50:18-22.

Guns, no, were not mentioned. I hope you know that all the Bible was penned before gunpowder and guns were made. But if you think again, you will see God wanted His people to be safe from evil people. Please think about it.

Jim Hale, La Vista

Plowshares into swords

To Ms. Victoria Cork of Papillion:

In the King James version of the Bible, Joel 3:10 states, “Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong.”

There you have your answer, ma’am.

Roger Kopf, Nebraska City

It’s in the Bible

I am replying to Victoria Cork’s May 24 Pulse letter commenting on “Gun rights.” She says she “searched her Bible from top to bottom” and couldn’t find any reference that God gave us the right to bear arms.

I would advise Ms. Cork to open her Bible to the New Testament and go to the book of Luke. In my NKJ version of the Bible, Luke 22:35-38 has a subhead, “Christ Predicts Coming Conflict.” Jesus Christ knew that he was going to go to the cross and that his disciples would face hostility and would need to protect themselves. Hence Jesus says in verse 36: “and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.”

That seems pretty clear that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ gives us permission to protect ourselves and loved ones from harm by whatever means possible.

David J. Dreith, Bellevue

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