We Americans like to complain. Indeed, it seems to have become our new national pastime.
We tend to criticize virtually everything and everybody, except ourselves. We are critical of both political parties, elected officials, even the management of our local sports teams.
We complain about management and labor, corporations and small businesses, law enforcement and criminals. We think taxes are too high, or too low.
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We despise smokers along with those who want to restrict the right to smoke. Name the topic, we will be critical.
We tend to forget that we live in a nation where we can complain without fear of reprisal. We forget that we have choices about where we live, where we work and with whom we associate.
We are free to plan a vacation without government approval, engage in recreational activities and attend the church of our choice — or no church at all.
Perhaps this Independence Day, for at least one day, we can put aside our complaints and simply enjoy our national freedom while thanking those who sacrificed to achieve it.
I don’t think they would complain.Mike Hanrahan
The anthem played, victoriously:
Rockets flared from everywhere!
Our nation’s flag arose,
Rippling, in the summer air.
A steady hand across a heart
Held a sailors’ cap.
In a wheelchair, bright, red roses
Laid across a soldiers’ lap.
Air Force jets flew overhead;
A Navy Seal stood by;
A woman held a Purple Heart
With a teardrop in her eye.
A bugler waited for his turn
Next to canons of pure steel;
“Freedom’s Cost” swept through the crowd,
From a battlefield, surreal!
A hero’s funeral procession
Slowly made its way.
A young Marine, a mother’s son,
Was coming home today!
Happy Fourth of July!Dee Ann Doxsee Kansas City Strong U.S. families
I am a person who loves my country and everything it stands for. But I feel that the moral fiber of this country is deteriorating and has been doing so slowly for a number of years.
The family is the most important part of our society. How strong it is and how well it is run will determine the success of our country.
How people live in the privacy of their homes is their decision. But I am against legalizing gay marriage.
And to make matters worse, I don’t feel children should be adopted under these circumstances. Men and women think, act and talk differently, and children growing up need the balance of a man and woman to raise them.
This establishes an environment for a strong and happy family, the cornerstone of our country.
I sincerely hope that the family as we have known it for hundreds of years will continue to stay strong.Mary Jo Kelley Overland Park Circus of elections
I get a laugh when I see all the complaints about the state legislators in Kansas and Missouri.
I consider myself a liberal Democrat. Living in Kansas, very rarely in the last 60-odd years has my vote ever picked a winner, but I keep trying.
What is comical is that voters keep electing the same fools, whom they then complain about.
I don’t know that my picks would be any better, but the way people keep voting guarantees that I’ll never know.Gene Parker Olathe Abortions in U.S.
If safe abortion through organizations such as Planned Parenthood were to be abolished in the United States, there would many more children living in poverty. There would be more children who are homeless, abandoned or abused in this country.
Not everyone can afford to raise a child, or even feed themselves, if they do not have a job. Think about it.Alice Jensen Independence Keep America safe
In the months since the Dec. 14 school shooting massacre in Newtown, Conn., more than 3,000 Americans have been killed by gun violence. That’s more than the number of people killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania.
Sadly, the reaction in Congress to terrorism and gun violence has been very different. After 9/11, Congress united to pass extensive safety measures to prevent future terror attacks. But efforts to pass common-sense legislation to reduce gun violence have failed.
Because more Americans are killed by guns than in terrorist attacks, Congress must pass legislation to expand criminal and mental illness background checks on all gun sales, including at gun shows and through Internet sales.
Keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals and away from the severely mentally ill is imperative.
Whether it is curbing gun violence or terrorism, every measure must be taken to keep us safe.Jane Toliver Leawood