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January 20, 2013

Sunday, January 20, 2013

MERIDIAN — Historical cemetery no place for shed

    Let me begin by saying I am sure that I am about to step on someone's toes, and for that I apologize.  I am writing this with the best of intentions. Having said that, I will now jump in with "both feet."

    I am sure most everyone in and around the Meridian area is familiar with the beautiful and historic Rosehill Cemetery sitting atop "Eighth Street hill."  This is a historical landmark that has been loved for many years by everyone who visits it or just passes by. We have visitors from many states that come to see this treasure in our city. It is something that our city should be proud of. Rosehill is also the final resting place for some of our city's forefathers and many Confederate soldiers.

    Now, I will come to the reason for this letter. A few days ago I noticed something being built in the cemetery, and as I watched I couldn't believe my eyes.      A large, aluminum shed was being erected in the front, middle area of this beautiful, sacred place. Why would anyone place an aluminum building in such an obvious location? I am not questioning the fact that a shed might be needed for storage, but why couldn't it be built in the back of the property in a less obvious location? I am asking you to please consider this suggestion.  

    I thank everyone who has worked so hard to bring this treasure back from disrepair.  You have done a remarkable job. Let's continue to make this a beautiful final resting place for all who are there.

Jessalyn Fears, Collinsville

Opposition to Hagel not political

    In Monday’s Star, Bill Crawford takes Sen. Roger Wicker to task for his strong opposition to Chuck Hagel, President Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Defense. Noting that Hagel has Mississippi ties and was close with Rep. Sonny Montgomery, Crawford states that Senator Wicker’s opposition is merely “politics.”  

    It is curious to suggest Senator Wicker is somehow merely politically motivated in opposing Hagel. Wicker might just be taking a firm and principled stand against a nominee he feels would do damage to the Defense Department and to America’s interests abroad. The facts in Hagel’s long public career bear out Senator Wicker’s position.  

    Indeed, as an extensive list of other officials and experts attest, it is President Obama’s nomination of Hagel that reeks of politics, not the senator’s opposition.  With “more flexibility” now that the election is behind him, Obama, by nominating a nominal Republican who is to the left of the president on foreign policy, is attempting to appear “bipartisan.” In actuality, Obama is telegraphing weakness in a dangerous world.

    Senator Wicker in the past has given strong support to President Obama’s national security picks, including Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Navy Secretary Ray Mabus.

    Crawford neglected a host of other voices that have weighed in early against the Hagel nomination, including other senators (of every political stripe) the left-leaning Washington Post and former New York Mayor Ed Koch. Are they, too, merely being political?

    Hagel’s past foreign policy positions clearly contradict the current White House narrative of Hagel’s “unequivocal, total support for Israel.” As a public official, Hagel has long relished his contrarian views regarding the nation of Israel, the Middle East’s only democracy and our closest ally in the region. Hagel’s votes and statements over time about a wide array of issues including Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran sanctions are enough to cause alarm among observers from both right and left.

    It might have been safer for Senator Wicker to wait for the hearings, but a choreographed show before committee-room cameras cannot erase a career full of troubling actions and statements that clearly put Hagel outside the mainstream of national security consensus.  

Cory Wilson, Madison

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