Readers’ Views

Fireworks are not fun

To the Editor:

The Fourth of July is fast approaching, that time of year we celebrate with fireworks over Lake Sisseton. Some citizens oppose this tradition. They think fireworks are too noisy.

Many pet dogs go crazy when they hear the loud “boom” from a fireworks display. Out of terror, my friend’s dog ripped apart the door frame of their house. I took the dog driving along I-90, far away from the noise, so he could relax.

Many war veterans have experienced combat have post-traumatic stress disorder. Loud noises trigger horrendous memories.

One evening, years ago, when I was young, a friend and I set off fireworks outside a neighbor’s home. The neighbors chased us down. One of them, a Vietnam veteran, had “shell shock” and his angry friends told us how the loud noise hurt the man. I still regret my actions.

Peter Engstrom


Reconsider balloons

To the Editor:

The June 24 edition of the Sentinel had an article about the detrimental effect that releasing balloons has on the environment. In the same edition, the Relay for Life of Martin County advertised that it would do a balloon release as part of its annual festivities. I am not sure who makes the agenda decisions, but please reconsider balloon releases. Small changes can make a big difference.

Elizabeth Viesselman


Sacrifice makes heroes

To the Editor:

The Fourth of July is usually all about fireworks and picnics and summer vacations. Hardly anyone thinks of the Fourth in terms of sacrifice.

Today’s world looks on sacrifice with some disdain. Sacrifice gives rise to complaints and resentment. Technology strives to make sacrifice obsolete. Advertisements tells us sacrifice is no longer necessary. But in reality, life is based on sacrifice. The sacrifices parents make for children; true friends make for a friend in need; loyal employees for the needs of their employers. When you think of it, sacrifice often marks our highest achievements in life. It brings out the best in us and turns us into heroes.

We celebrated heroes during our most recent national holiday, Memorial Day, and the sacrifices made by our defenders of freedom. But we don’t often think of the Fourth of July in terms of sacrifice; and yet, sacrifice formed the very foundations of the Declaration of Independence, signed on July 4, which then seven years later, led to victory in the Revolutionary War.

On July 4, 1776, 56 individuals signed the Declaration of Independence, announcing the reasons America was breaking away from England and establishing its own country. The Declaration contained an oath, to which all the signers pledged allegiance. The oath stated that, in signing the document, “we mutually pledge our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” This oath was not just a nice-sounding phrase. It was a commitment to sacrifice, because by publicly declaring their opposition to British rule, the signers knew they would be the first and primary targets of British retribution.

The members of the Continental Congress who signed the Declaration of Independence were people of stature in their communities. They had families, businesses, professions, homes. So they had a lot to lose. And they knew it. And as it turned out, many of them lost everything.

Nine of the signers died of wounds or hardships during the Revolutionary War. Five were captured or imprisoned and endured harsh treatment. Twelve of the signers saw their homes burned to the ground. Seventeen lost their entire fortunes. The families of the signers were killed, jailed, mistreated, persecuted, or robbed of their money.

After signing the Declaration, every signer was branded by England as a traitor. Every one was hunted, and most were at one time or another barred from their families or their homes. Most of the signers were offered immunity, freedom, financial rewards or the release of loved ones to break the pledged word and repudiate the Declaration. But not one single signer did so.

America became a great nation. But its triumphs and successes didn’t come without a lot of sacrifice. And the story of the signers of the Declaration reflect the kind of sacrifices that have always been required to achieve our highest goals. We celebrate those sacrifices on the Fourth of July, and hopefully, we remember that sacrifice, for the right purpose, can be our highest calling.

Michael Garry


Garden party a success

To the Editor:

The City of Lakes Garden Club hosted its first-ever Garden Party and Plant Swap on Saturday, June 15. The event was held at Lincoln Park on a beautiful sunny morning.

Garden lovers from the area were able to bring garden-related items to swap with others and take home new treasurers for their own gardens.

There were plenty of goodies to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth and the live music of Stuart and Lori Smart filled the air with the lovely notes of summer.

All plants that were left over from the event were donated to Heritage Acres for them to plant out at their site.

Another success was gaining two new members to our garden club from the event. If you are interested in getting more information about or joining the City of Lakes Garden Club, please call Myrtle Heifner at (507) 235-8535. Visitors and new members are always welcome.

Our next meeting will be held 9 a.m. Wednesday, July 3, in the open shelter at Lincoln Park in Fairmont. Bring your own breakfast in a bag. Coffee and table service will be provided. There will be a business meeting followed by a presentation on the Brassica Family (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, etc.). Thank you to one and all who made this event such a success and for supporting the City of Lakes Garden Club.

Leslie A Walkowiak



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