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The words of a leader

matter for Americans

The 44 men who have served our nation as president have left behind a very uneven assortment of writings and speeches as they have sought in their own ways to lead our country.

In recent days I've found myself exploring this literature and sifting through my first-hand memories of our presidents' speeches. Our presidents were not all gifted orators, but all of them had shining moments. Even George W. Bush, who was mightily challenged by our English language, left us with some sentences that were quite profound and uplifting.

The president on whom I've been dwelling the most is FDR. Here was a man who truly understood his office and the kind of leadership it required. He knew how to touch ordinary people, lift up a struggling nation and rally our spirits.

A prime example was the prayer he broadcast to the nation on the evening of June 6, 1944. Thankfully, it's preserved in several places on the Internet. The prayer sprang from FDR's great love of the King James Version of the Bible and the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer.

When FDR died on that terrible day (April 12, 1945) in Warm Springs, he left behind a speech that he was to deliver the following day. In it he exhorted all of us to live and work together in peace. He concluded, "Let us move forward with strong and active faith." He was our uniter, encourager and leader to the very end.

It's disheartening to experience the void in which we now live. There are no sounds of a unifying or encouraging spirit in our ears. Only anger, insults and small-minded rants delivered in the staccato of sentence fragments. Only words that are meant to drive us apart and cast us down.

Sandy Wylie

Bella Vista

People must respond

to end harm to planet

I was glad to see the letters "Agency Must do Job" and" Protect Environment" in the Aug. 11 paper. We must stand up, write, vote and challenge anyone who does not agree we are in a climate crisis. If you are not concerned for yourself, think about the planet 20 years from now and what your children and grandchildren will face.

While most of our conservative politicians cater to the oil and gas industry out of greed, our planet is dying a slow death that is now accelerating at an alarming rate. The withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement and the outright denial of global warming by President Trump and his administration's position against science-based policy on the issue has made things worse. The August 2018 State of the Climate Report found that 2017 was the warmest in recorded history for the planet that didn't feature an El Nino, with a record high sea level and destructive coral bleaching. The report was compiled by 500 climate scientists around the world. Soaring temperatures, retreating sea ice, record-high sea levels, shrinking glaciers, destructive coral bleaching and massive fire and flooding events seem to be the new norm.

Concentrations of planet-warming carbon dioxide have increased 405 parts per million in the atmosphere, the growth rate of carbon dioxide has quadrupled since the early 1960s. We can't just sit by and continue to not support the efforts to reverse the outcome of destruction we have created. As our politicians turn a blind eye we must make our voices heard by the way we vote.

I grew up in Arkansas and was always so proud to be from "The Natural State" but reading about the condition of the water in the Buffalo River has been shocking. A concentrated shoreline management plan should be adopted immediately to remedy the pollution, the EPA must be held accountable for doing its job! This one important river is just an example of what is happening on a worldwide level.

Our environment is changing, the water is becoming more polluted, people and wildlife are dying all over the planet. Don't ignore the facts. It is our moral responsibility to stand up.

Margi Tucker

Bella Vista

Commentary on 08/16/2018

Print Headline: NWA Letters to the Editor

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