Northeast Times

Letters to the Editor: January 1, 2014

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!

Howard Wilk 

Bustleton

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.

Wil­li­am Cole

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.

Lynda George

Wissi­nom­ing

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.

Winchester Park

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.

Tom Murt

State Rep­res­ent­at­ive

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