I would like to personally thank everyone involved with “Run for the Fallen” in Maine. It turned out to be a fitting tribute to all who have given their lives from our state of Maine since Sept. 11, 2001.

The comments and compliments, particularly from members of their families, have been really touching. I know and want you to know how much they all appreciate this event.

Many told me that this is one of the few days in the year that they look forward to. We have been able to bring together families of our fallen heroes who would never have had a mechanism to meet. We have honored their brothers, sisters, cousins, sons, daughter, fathers, friends, mothers and grandparents.

They are all our neighbors in this great state. we can not begin to think that we understand how they feel but now we know that “Run for the Fallen” has certainly in some little way helped them heal. We know that these families don’t want us to forget their loved ones. They are moved by perfect strangers honoring the sacrifice of our fallen heroes.

While I personally feel honored to help with this event, I need to let everyone know that this has been a true community effort. I want to thank all those that helped in any way.

Like any team effort this could not have been accomplished without all of you. We had outstanding sponsors throughout our community. The volunteers, runners, people standing at the markers, police departments, town officials and spectators made this year’s event something special.

John Mixon
Ogunquit

 

Mosque question continues to stir readers’ interest

 

Reading the article, “Muslim leaders decry mosque opponents,” made me think of Jesus’ words to “do unto others” and to “forgive those who trespass against us.” Given these Christian attributes, I find myself able to support a mosque near ground zero.

Even so, I have serious concerns. Imam Latif is quoted as saying, “We support the right of our Muslim brothers who wish to build that center there.” Yet I wonder if he and “his brothers” would be so eager to support the right of Christians to build a church near a similar site in Iran, Syria, or another Islamic nation?

Too often I see Muslims in America arguing for religious and civil rights other members of their faith might never allow non-Muslims in majority-Muslim countries.

Last, I continue to be unimpressed with Islam’s treatment of women. No matter how many Muslim women say otherwise, I cannot believe the women I saw recently, who were wearing dark shrouds and head scarves, could have been comfortable in the 95-degree heat.

But that is my opinion, and they are free in America to dress as they wish. But here’s the catch: If I travel to their country, I may have to dress “appropriately,” which may well mean I have to put on a scarf and cover my head — something I would never be compelled to do in the United States.

In the United States, Muslim brothers and sisters have the right to demonstrate for, and build, a mosque near ground zero. They have the right to express their religious belief in their manner of dress. I only wish non-Muslims had those same rights in nations ruled by Muslim clerics.

Amy Haible
Harpswell

In my opinion, ground zero is already a sacred site, and should be converted into a place of worship for all the major faiths of the world. Imagine ground zero with several large buildings all facing into a central plaza.

From the plaza you can turn in a circle, and you will see the doors of a Christian church, a synagogue, a mosque, a Hindu temple and a Buddhist place of worship.

developing the site this way, the twin towers — which symbolized America’s world power as a place of business — would be replaced with the healing and holy symbols of peace and love.

Ground zero would be transformed into holy ground.

Margo Donnis
South Portland

 

I am disgusted! The furor of the so-called “ground zero mosque” amazes me. I thought freedom of religion in America was a given.

I am a combat veteran of World War II. My only sibling (my brother) was killed in action in that war. Of course, I also lost close buddies.

I understand the emotions of those who would prefer that a Muslim center was not built near such a sensitive site.

Time may slightly ease the pain of losing loved ones but it will never erase it fully, nor should it. One honors one’s loved ones by remembering.

The hateful words provoking bigotry against the building of the mosque are an insult to every military person serving now as well as to every veteran who has served to protect religious freedom.

I fought for religious freedom for every American. My brother died for it as did thousands upon thousands of other heroes.

Honor them for what they did and uphold religious freedom.

Al Burk
Bridgton

 

Fifty years ago and many miles away from Maine, I was a member of a planning commission that was confronted with a proposal to build a church in an R-1 residential neighborhood.

To me the proposal didn’t seem to blend in with the local surroundings, but I didn’t want to get stoned on a Tuesday evening if I could avoid it.

Sufficient parking seemed to be one of the areas of concern, which seemed to be satisfactorily addressed since the zoning request included a parking area for some 60 cars.

My calculations disclosed a rather interesting situation.

If 60 cars were placed inside the parking area, there was no room for cars to enter and leave, so I suggested to the other planning commissioners that some type of hoist would be needed for cars to enter or leave the area.

The church minister wouldn’t give in, nor would the planning commission, and the application was denied.

Several weeks later I receive a note from the minister that my action would be noted “above.”

It seems to me that a lot of members of both parties might have saved a lot of embarrassment in lower New York City if some local officials had merely stated that another high usage project would have failed to meet city standards.

Perry Lamb
Brunswick