May 30 is the traditional Memorial Day. It is a day of “National Mourning”. All U.S. Flags should be displayed at half-staff during the morning hours. At noon, they should be raised back to full-staff.

It’s a sacred day to all war veterans: None need be reminded of the reason why Memorial Day must be commemorated. But what about the general public, and more importantly, future generations? Do most non-veterans really recognize the importance of Memorial Day?

Sacrifice is meaningless without remembrance. America’s collective consciousness demands that all citizens be aware of – and recall on special occasions – the deaths of their fellow countrymen during wartime.

Far too often, the nation as a whole takes for granted the freedoms all Americans enjoy. Those freedoms were paid for with the lives of others – which few of us actually knew. That’s why they are all collectively remembered on one special day.

This should be regarded as a civic obligation. For this is a national debt that can only be truly repaid by individual Americans. By honoring the nation’s war dead, we preserve their memory and thus their service and sacrifice.

Means of paying tribute vary. Pausing for a few moments of personal silence is available to everyone.

Attending commemorative ceremonies is the most viable way of demonstrating remembrance: placing flags at gravesites, marching in parades, dedicating memorials and wearing Buddy Poppies are examples.

Whether done individually or collectively, it is the thought that counts. Personal as well as public acts of remembering are the idea. Public displays of patriotism are essential if the notion of remembering war dead is to be instilled in our young.

New York was the first state – in 1873 – to legalize May 30th. By 1890, all northern states had followed suit. Until the National Holiday Act of 1971 (p.1.90-363), Memorial Day was observed each May 30th. Changing the date merely to create a three-day weekend has undermined the very meaning of the day. No doubt, this has contributed greatly to the general public’s nonchalant observance of Memorial Day as well.

Kingston Memorial VFW Post 1088 Commander, Greg Lynch

Thank you, thank you for all the support and comfort and hugs and kisses given to Seth and Jessica Callahan and son Connor on the death of their newborn son and brother Carter Scott Callahan. Special thanks to Fran Berube of Brookside Funeral Home, Plaistow for his trip to Boston and his very personalized concern and care given to Jessica and Seth. Thanks to Rev. Paul Dionne of the Atkinson Congregational Church for his words of comfort, his prayers and for the use of the meeting room at the church.

Thanks to Atkinson Police Chief, Phil Consentino for organizing help to aid Jessica and Seth. And thanks to Lt. Bill Baldwin for escorting the procession and for saluting Carter and his families and we entered the cemetery.

Thanks to everyone who gave to Seth and Jessica and their families: cards, flowers, food, help, money, love, prayers, hugs, kisses, words, silence and tears. And thanks to those who entertained Connor.

God bless all of you,

Mr. and Mrs. Richard Smith on Behalf of the Callahan family, Ordway family, and Nogues family

Open letter to Senator Sununu:

The slow-bleed policies of Democrats regarding funding our military during wartime is irresponsible. Please ask your colleagues to stop using our military troops as political pawns! Either give them the funding they need to achieve their mission or bring them home today. It is wrong to tie the hands of our brave men and women on the battlefield. By withholding the necessary funding, government officials are putting our military personnel at higher risk.

The political chess game is sending the wrong message to our military personnel serving in Iraq and the terrorists who want to kill all Americans.

Gail Giarrusso, Stratham

I moved to Raymond six months ago. Every where I have gone in town the people are friendly. It has been a peaceful place to live.

But after less than six months of living here I have been confronted with Thibeault Sand and Gravel going after a blasting permit to add another quarry in this beautiful town. It will operate for forty years. Having gone to the Technical Review Board Meeting, and after listening to what was being said, it thoroughly disgusted me. There are many concerns I have and I do not see any way possible the benefit from Thibeault Sand and Gravel getting a blasting permit. The following are my concerns:

What will happen to the wetlands that surround the blasting area? Disruption to the wildlife. Noise pollution caused by the blasting. The trucks back and forth on Rte. 27 and there will be many of them. The eyesore it will cause, taking away the beauty of Raymond. On Rte 27 there already is an eyesore. It’s right in your face as you’re driving by. Where is the beauty in that? The quality of life I thought I would have in Raymond, peace and quiet.

The questions I have asked myself are: will the people who are raising their voices and speaking out be heard and respected enough to save the quality of life here that we all want?

I know I have worked hard to have a nice home, and so has everyone else.

When I did go to the Technical Review Board Meeting, a map of houses and the blasting area were presented with a big circle around it by Thibeault Sand and Gravel. What this meant was many houses near the blasting would have their houses inspected and video taped. They want to make sure that if you have a crack in your basement prior to any blasting they would not be held responsible- that I understand. But if you have no cracks in your basement and they blast and you happen to get one, will they take on the responsibility? Also, they will test the well. Why would that be? Maybe my well may get contaminated. What about my protection as a taxpayer? What about our voices being heard? If we all speak up and voice our rights, by writing letters to the Planning Board, making phone call, will we be heard and respected enough to keep the quality of life we all want and deserve?

Join us at the next Technical Review Board Meeting, Wed., May 23 at 7:00 p.m. at the Lampry Elementary School.

Cheryl Syvinski, Raymond

Regarding the “Letter” From St. Matthews

Recently a letter was mass mailed to a number of homes in our region from “St. Matthews Church.” In this letter, recipients were encouraged to take out the enclosed (paper) prayer rug and, following very explicit directions, lay out their requests before God. The letter had the look and feel of any cheaply produced mass-mail marketing piece.

When the mailing hit mailboxes in our area, our church, St. Matthews United Methodist church in Sandown, began receiving phone calls asking to be removed from our mailing list. We want to say in no uncertain terms that this letter was not from us. This church is in Tulsa Oklahoma, and has no affiliation whatsoever with our church.

Do we believe in the power of prayer? Absolutely. However, we do not believe that you have to place a paper prayer rug over your knees in a certain way, or even slide it under your side of the bed, in order for your prayers to be heard. There are actually a number of things in this mailing that are unbiblical, and we would encourage you to throw it away. We certainly would not encourage you to send them any money in hopes that it would increase the likelihood that your prayer will be answered.

However, if you are looking for a place where intelligent, thinking people can explore their faith in a way that is Biblically sound, we invite you visit us for worship. St. Matthews UMC (the one in Sandown, NH) worships at 8:45 a.m. on Sunday mornings, followed by Promiseland (our Christian Education program) and adult Bible study at 10:00 a.m. Guests are always welcome. We promise there will be no hype and no absurd claims or requests. Just joyful worship, applicable teaching, and warm, welcoming people.

For directions or more information, check us out on the web at

Steve Murray, Pastor of St. Matthews UM Church, Sandown

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