End of Christmas season
The war on or of Christmas 2013 is over and the ‘Ghost of Christmas Commercial’ that Charles Dickens wrote about won. OK, he didn’t, but he would have had he lived into the latter half of last century and published a 25th edition of A Christmas Carol.
On Christmas Eve, I ate lunch at the Judah Mediterranean Grill. I went there not because I knew it would be open, but because I was hungry for falafel.
As I sat eating my falafel — which was delicious — I thought, I can’t be hearing this, not here, but I was: Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
But then, Vince Guaraldi’s Linus and Lucy, which is a great song, though not a specifically Christmas or wintry song. You know it even if you don’t know it by name. I would have liked to hear Guaraldi’s Christmas Time is Here, which is the best Christmas song written in the last 60 years, but it was not to be. Instead I was assaulted by Burl Ives’s A Holly Jolly Christmas.
I could have left after eating my falafel, but I followed it with an order of fries, which were also delicious. I was tempting fate. Sooner or later, I knew I was going to hear the worst song ever recorded, a song so loathsome I actually — this is not literary hyperbole, it’s the God’s honest truth — refuse to speak or write its title in full: JBR.
Miraculously, I dodged that bullet. So I was down but not out. I’ll be back.
Happy New Year!
Post 754 welcomes vets
Rhawnhurst-Castor Post 754 is open to any veteran who would like to join the American Legion.
Our membership is open to anyone who served in the military. Our post is the largest legion post in Philadelphia. We have 759 members.
Men or women who would like to join can call me anytime at 215-632-7781. Dues are $25 for 2014.
Commander, Post 754
Politicians, earn my vote
I have lived in this city for all of my life. I understand the politics. Many of us freely give our vote. Do I feel that our politicians earn those votes? No.
Their union buddies and friends come out to vote. They even get the day off in some unions.
I recently had a problem and went to a councilman, state representative, and then Allyson Schwartz’s office. I received no help; just lip service. Ms. Schwartz’s office told me I was not a part of her district, so I needed to go speak to someone else.
My tax money helps to pay all of them — Democrat or Republican. Folks, wake up and make your politicians work for you, and your vote. You are paying their salary, staff expenses, and excellent health insurance. Votes are given out too freely. Does your employer pay you to just give lip service? Mine never did. Instead of listening to their buddies, listen to the people. We only hear from you at election time. Don’t bother knocking on my door. I know where the “common person” stands in your world.
Issues shouldn’t end ACA
While these computer problems surely must be fixed, to use them as a reason to repeal the Affordable Care Act is fallacious. Look at the other computer glitches, which occurred in the recent past:
1. The college online application system has been having serious problems. (Inquirer 10/21/13)
2. The Workers Comp system which processes claims and assigns them to judges is malfunctioning. (Inquirer 10/22/13)
Following Republican logic, does this mean we should scrap online applications to college? Should we eliminate Workers Compensation claims?
The ACA site needs work, but the great volume tying it up shows the pent-up demand for health coverage.
Edward S. Marks, Ph.D.
In memory of Cardinal Dougherty grad killed in Vietnam
Jimmy Kelly was one of 11 children. He grew up in St. William Parish in the Lawndale section of Philadelphia. His parents moved with their children to Hatboro in the late 1950s to accommodate the needs of their growing family.
After he graduated from Cardinal Dougherty High School in 1960, Jimmy Kelly attended La Salle College and participated in ROTC. He was a member of the Pershing Rifles, the President’s Guard and the ROTC Drill Team.
He graduated from La Salle College in 1964 with a B.S. in accounting, and accepted a Regular Army Commission with the 101st Airborne Division.
Jimmy Kelly loved to play baseball and bowl with his dad. His sister, Nancy, said that Jimmy was rather quiet, but since he was the oldest, he was very protective of his siblings and family. Jimmy’s sisters remember their father contacting them at work to tell them the news about their brother’s death in Vietnam. The younger children were called out of classes at St. Joseph Catholic School and Archbishop Wood High School by their dad, who told them the tragic news about their brother. The painful memories of losing a beloved son and brother are still quite vivid for the Kelly family. The youngest of the Kelly children, Susanne, was not even born when Jimmy Kelly died.
When he was killed in combat, 2LT James P. Kelly was serving near An Khe in the Binh Dinh Province on Vietnam’s south central coast. 2LT Kelly was a forward observer for 320th Field Artillery.
On the day before he died, he wrote to his family that he was happy to receive Holy Communion that day for the first time since he had arrived in Vietnam.
The next day, after leading his soldiers safely back to their base camp, he and two other soldiers were killed by an explosion that also wounded another 18 soldiers. 2LT James P. Kelly was in Vietnam for only two months before he was killed on Sept. 27, 1965. His soldiers remember him as an excellent officer who cared deeply about his men and about sending them home safely to their families. 2LT Kelly’s awards include the Purple Heart, the National Defense Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal and the Vietnam Campaign Medal, all of which his family received posthumously. He was 23 years old when he was killed. 2LT James P. Kelly is buried in Our Lady of Grace Cemetery in Langhorne.
Jimmy Kelly’s death in Vietnam brought the war to our doorsteps and neighborhoods in Hatboro in September 1965. Last summer, I formally dedicated County Line Road between Maple Avenue and Meetinghouse Road in his honor.
The Kelly family is somewhat unique among families who lost a loved one in the Vietnam War in that both parents are still alive today. They were both in attendance for the dedication ceremony.
Some of America’s best and brightest young men and women fought in the Vietnam War. President Johnson called these men and women “the flower of our youth.” More than 58,000 of them never made it back to hometowns like Hatboro. Sadly, most have never received so much as a thank you.
Many of us have lived through or have read about how painful the Vietnam War years were in America. The difficult memories and collective guilt our nation might have of Vietnam does not excuse us from saying thank you to the men and women who served in that war.
2LT James P. Kelly may be gone from our presence here on earth, but his family and friends have never forgotten him. Jimmy Kelly’s memory was made permanent with the dedication of County Line Road in his honor. People using County Line Road will be reminded that a young man named 2LT James P. Kelly lived nearby on Holly Drive, bravely served in Vietnam and gave his life in the defense of freedom. Anyone who knew 2LT James P. Kelly of Hatboro is encouraged to add your comments and memories to his page on the Vietnam Wall website at thewall-usa.com.