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The County's Response in the Wake of Tragedy

October 21, 2001

Re "Young Voices Across the U.S. Pledge Allegiance," Oct. 13:

The feature on Paula Burton, "The Flag Lady," was well done. We at the Orange County Department of Education worked with Burton a decade ago when she came to us with the idea to promote a love of our country through proper forms of patriotism.

At that time, I reminded her of my rather limited crusade to have the Pledge of Allegiance recited correctly, as introduced by President Eisenhower. The correct phrasing is "One nation under God ...," with no pause. I was teaching sixth grade at Ensign School in Newport Beach when Eisenhower added those two words, and we worked diligently to have the students recite the pledge correctly. Many still take a breath when none was intended.

Burton's dedication has carried this renaissance of patriotism to the White House and back. The Flag Lady has done Orange County proud and with class.

John F. Dean

\o7 Superintendent o f Schools Emeritus

Orange County Department of Education\f7

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Can we, after undergoing decades of divisive politics, unite? Can we remain united?

There are many who believe the very idea is an oxymoron. For 30 years, the education establishment, reinforced by the mass media, the entertainment industry and our government, has worked diligently to erase God from our world and divide Americans by race, creed and sexual identity. During the past 20 years, TV and newspapers vied with each other to see which could better recognize and applaud the uniqueness and differences of each minority. Educators, with media and government support, have all tried to replace the Judeo-Christian God of western civilization with the teaching of multiculturalism, environmentalism and political correctness.

Now, all of a sudden, after Sept. 11, America has pulled together. We all want to be united, to win; and to do so, we must remain united. But can we?

Right now, everyone flies the flag and God is so popular that politicians, teachers and even some professors and newspapers have found their voices raised in praying "God Bless America." Unbelievable. How long will it last? Long enough?

I don't think it will last long enough to win this new war. Do we really understand and cherish freedom enough? This war will, in its final days, become a war of wills.

Gil Ferguson

\o7 Former Assemblyman

Newport Beach\f7

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I am so disappointed and saddened by Orange County's small efforts in the important relief effort for the victims families of the food service industry who perished in the World Trade Center attacks. Many have no other means of support.

It has become a worldwide industry-supported effort, begun by chefs and owners of the center's Windows of the World restaurant. If you view the list of participants and supporters, it is amazing how far it reaches across the world (http://www.windowsofhope.org). With all our fine restaurants, cafes, coffeehouses and fast-food chains, we have dropped the ball somehow compared to other cities and counties in California, and the rest of our nation. How could that be? We have the wealth. We have the patronage. This county is a huge part of that industry.

Lin Forino

\o7 Lake Fores\f7 t

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The Orange County Deaf Advocacy Center is the only deaf and disability advocacy and support center in Southern California that is in service 24 hours a day offering people with disabilities equal opportunities to a safe, healthy and productive life.

In the past three weeks we've been flooded with complaints from Middle Eastern people with and without disabilities and even from Latin Americans who appear to be Middle Eastern.

Complaints of harassment, vehicle damage, homelessness, loss of jobs, and housing discrimination are brought to our attention.

These are creating a drain on our own resources, and as soon as this weekend we may have to face the difficult decision of whether to start turning these people way to preserve our resources for other areas of advocacy.

Richard Roehm

\o7 Deaf Advocacy Center

Orange County\f7

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