Letter to the Editor

The ghosts of history are watching

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

While rummaging through files the other day, I discovered some old newspapers that had been preserved by me and by my parents. These particular newpapers reflected events of significant historical importance. While the papers are yellowed, the print remains readable and surprisingly current in relation to these days in which we live.

Franklin D. Roosevelt died on April 12, 1945. He had served three terms as our president and had just started his fourth term when he became ill, and FDR died shortly into that fourth term, just before he was to deliver a national address honoring Jefferson Day. His speech was written but not delivered. However, the Presidential Secretary, Steve Early, made the text public as Roosevelt's funeral train passed en route to Washington, D.C. Please google that speech. I take one quote from FDRís final words to America: "If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships; the ability of all peoples of all kinds, to live together and work together, in the same world, at peace."

And this from a man who lived through two wars, one as our president. He saw war and hatred and death. There simply has got to be a better way. And I believe FDR points us in that direction.

Richard Milhous Nixon, upon his resignation from the office of the president on Aug. 9, 1974: "I have never been a quitter. To leave office before my term is completed is abhorrent to every instinct in my body. But as president I must put the interest of America first. America needs a full-time president and a full time Congress."

Nixon was well advised.

Upon the tragic death of John F. Kennedy, Frank Miller, on Nov. 22, 1963, posted in The Des Moines Register an unforgettable drawing; that of a hat-in-hand President Abraham Lincoln, with head bowed, standing behind and looking over, JFK's favorite rocking chair. That sketch was worth a thousand words.

Jacqueline Kennedy was JFK's wife. This lady had style and she had class and she had beauty. She was quoted in a 1960 interview: "You have two compartments, your private and your public life. I think Iím more of a private person. I donít really like to call attention to anything."

I do not believe she would ever draw attention to herself by wearing a jacket which has these word emblazoned on it: "I REALLY DONíT CARE. DO U?"

No, I do not believe Jaqueline Kennedy would draw attention to herself like this.

On 9-11-2001 President Bush said, as the smoke from the terrorist attack on our country was still swirling in the winds of war: "Their acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed. Our country is strong Ö Terrorist attacks can shake the foundation of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundations of America."

I believe there is an enemy closer to home that is touching the foundations of America and creating the very chaos and retreat we all fear Ö and doing so without firing a single bullet.

My wish is that history still has relevance, from which we can still learn.

Donít forget to vote on Nov. 3, 2020. The ghosts of history are watching us.

Marshall Crane

Spirit Lake