ROCHESTER'S MEMORIAL

It honors Americans

Where is Mark W. Powell coming from ("Rochester war memorial sets [faulty] facts in stone," March 26)? Since he lives outside of Washington, D.C., I can only assume he was being treated at the Mayo Clinic for Potomac Fever.

He claims errors abound on Rochester's Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial -- that there is a clear pattern of false superlatives rising from chauvinistic dishonesty and/ or gross ignorance.

He disputes the First Minnesota's decimation in a heroic Gettysburg charge as the war's highest regimental casualty rate, claiming the Confederate regiments suffered even worse. Excuse me, Mr. Powell, but I do believe that Minnesota was on the Union side in that conflict. He also questions, "America's 1918 success in the Meuse-Argonne is called World War I's "greatest" battle. For America's belated, comparatively limited fighting, perhaps. Greater battles and bloodbaths were many -- Marne, Tannenberg, Verdun, Somme, Ypres." And then he says D-Day's invasion and the Battle of the Bulge were not as big as what the Russians were doing.

America's 1918 success in the Meuse-Argonne is called World War I's "greatest" battle. For America's belated, comparatively limited fighting, perhaps. Greater battles and bloodbaths were many -- Marne, Tannenberg, Verdun, Somme, Ypres.

Mr. Powell, the Rochester memorial is meant to honor all who served in the U.S. military in war and peace -- not the Russia, French, Confederate or any other country's military.

Powell really offends when he wrote, "It stands part superb civic act, part gross embarrassment. Members of the memorial committee should be questioned about needlessly negligent execution of a great idea."

If he only knew the years that the committee worked developing this beautiful tribute to those who have served. I invite all to take the time to visit the memorial and judge for themselves.

RICHARD DISON, ROCHESTER

CAMPAIGN '08

Back to the issues

Let's get back to the issues, Hillary and Barack. Climb out of the mud-wrestling pit, clean yourselves off and get back to the issues that really matter: the economy, foreign policy, health care, Medicare and Social Security reform, education and transportation.

CANDI STORM, MINNEAPOLIS

BACHMANN'S BULBS

She's making sense

Rep. Michele Bachmann is right about the ban on incandescent light bulbs.

• It is a forced tax on consumers. Instead of paying pennies for a bulb, we pay dollars.

• Incandescent bulbs are safe, while fluorescent bulbs contain mercury. I thought no amount of mercury was safe. Do we really believe they all will be recycled instead of ending up in landfills seeping into ground water?

• I use both types of bulbs in my home, and the fluorescent bulbs do not stand up to their claims. From my experience, I replace them almost as often as regular bulbs. They burn out quickly in enclosed fixtures and are useless in a cold garage (the cold causes them to dim too low to be useful).

• We are being forced to replace our light bulbs to save energy but also forced into digital TVs that use three times as much energy as a regular TV.

There are many available options to conserving energy. Why replace a light bulb with another that may be hazardous?

PAUL MONSON, EAGAN

VETS FOR FREEDOM

Left playing politics

After reading several opinions concerning the Vets for Freedom flap at Forest Lake High School, I am left with the feeling that those on the far left have decided that it is more important to be anti-Republican than patriotic.

JOHN MISGEN, SCANDIA

A good call by school

As a retired Forest Lake school teacher and a veteran of two wars, I would like to comment on the wonderful support our veterans have received through the years.

In my 37 years in Forest Lake, I have seen and experienced nothing but total support for our veterans, both by the school district and our community. We can be very proud of that fact.

Every year numerous veterans have been invited to our schools, both elementary through secondary, to speak about patriotism and their military experiences. Always welcomed in our schools are the honor guards from our veterans' organizations who speak on patriotism, donate American flags and patriotic information to our students.

Our school district employs many veterans and each year honors the military veteran teachers and staff.

Our school bands and choirs support numerous events for our students, both in our community and outside our community.

I have met twice with Steve Massey, our Forest Lake Senior High School principal, over the "Vets for Freedom" issue, along with many teachers, staff members and students. I am convinced after reviewing the facts that the right decision was made to cancel the Vets for Freedom event at the high school on March 25.

JAMES P. NOLL, FOREST LAKE;

RETIRED ARMY LIEUTENANT COLONEL

vikings stadium study

Just say no

Regarding the March 27 Star Tribune article "Senate panel OKs study on new home for Vikings": Not one red cent. Like the Twins, the Vikings owners can and should be financing 100 percent of any new stadium that they desire to be built. If they don't like it, let them leave.

There is something wrong with Minnesotans' priorities when we pay tribute to professional sports teams, in the form of corporate welfare funding and ticket prices and obscene salaries, while Joe and Jill Public struggle to make ends meet, while Johnny can't read and while our state and local infrastructure are in disrepair.

RON DONDELINGER, MINNEAPOLIS

THIRD DISTRICT RACE

Bonoff the best choice

State Sen. Terri Bonoff should receive the DFL endorsement for the Third Congressional District seat. She has proven her ability to solve problems for the people of her district. She has proven that she can bring people together from both sides of the aisle to pass good legislation. She is smart, tireless and thoughtful.

KRISTIN LEONARD, MEDICINE LAKE