Readers Write 5/30

MEMORIAL DAY

Blessed to have people who serve their country

“When we don’t come home, tell them that we have sacrificed our today for their tomorrow.”

I must have been 14 that weekend when my brother, an Army cadet, brought home a poster featuring these words and a picture of a helmet on top of a rifle. It was hard to make much sense of it — other than of course feeling a sense of loss if I were to lose my brother in combat.

Today (by the grace of God) my brother is fine. Now that I am older, my thoughts go out to those who have not been this fortunate. What a blessing it is to have people who have the courage to serve one’s country, not worrying about their own lives. People who choose to serve in an army deserve the utmost respect for showing the most elevated form of loyalty to their country.

This Memorial Day, let’s pray for the brave who live and die for the sake of their country. May God bless them all.

Saima Ahmad, Suwanee

CULTURE

Mayor Reed, take a bow for restoring arts funds

A round of applause to Mayor Kasim Reed for recognizing that young people today should indeed have what he had growing up: the opportunity to benefit from arts programs (“Mayor restores funding for arts,” Metro, May 20).

I recognize the challenges our elected leaders face in these hard times, but making Draconian cuts to the arts — a relatively small sector that provides many benefits (not the least of which are economic) — is not the way to plug large budget shortfalls.

Atlanta’s arts organizations and their audiences boost the city’s economy as they purchase goods and services within the community; are involved in the marketing and promotion of Atlanta’s diverse offerings to tourists; generate government revenue; and employ people locally. By any measure, a vibrant arts community supported with public dollars is good for both the city and its residents.

A city as culturally rich as Atlanta deserves more public investment in the arts, not less.

Robert L. Lynch, president and chief executive officer, Americans for the Arts

POLITICS

Medicare costs a lot, but it pays back plenty

In seeking to dismantle programs such as Medicare and Social Security, the Republicans are merely handing more cash cows to those they truly represent (corporations and the richest few of us). Privatization and deregulation have never been shown to lower costs or to create jobs. Medicare delivers far more service for the money and would be a bargain even with increased taxes. By all means, root out abuse and pare down programs temporarily if need be, but do not pull the rug out from under us by destroying them.

By the way, money distributed through these programs flows back into the economy, as it is used to pay for food, shelter, clothing and other goods. The results? Increased financial stability, increased purchasing power and increased health.

Go ahead, raise my taxes. Why? Because you can’t find me a better deal.

Michaelene Gorney, Johns Creek