Union Democrat staff

Delbert Belton deserved better

To the Editor,

It was a Tuesday when I saw my dad coming up the walk dressed in his navy blues. I know it was a Tuesday because my mother was in the kitchen doing the weekly ironing. It was October, 1945. I was seven and my dad was home from the war.

Similar homecomings took place all over America that autumn and maybe Delbert Belton's homecoming was similar to my family's. Mr. Belton - an 88-year-old World War II veteran who was allegedly killed at random by juveniles in Spokane, Wash., - was wounded on Okinawa, Japan, the last great land battle of World War II. Tens of thousands of marines and soldiers fought against a tenacious enemy, Japanese soldiers who fought to death, who never surrendered.

In the fleet off Okinawa thousands of sailors fought against the dreaded kamikazes, planes flown by men pledged to fly their planes into American ships. Such was the war against Japan. Men like Mr. Belton were on the front lines, but there were millions of Americans supporting them: Mothers, wives, sweethearts, nurses, workers in defense plants, kids collecting rubber tires and tin cans. All this for final victory and hopefully a better world. All this to bring our men home alive. For the those who didn't their graves are memorials for their sacrifice. September 2020 will be the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II.

The least we can do for the next seven Septembers is to remember and give thanks to Delbert Belton and his fellow compatriots of the Greatest Generation.

Daniel Connell


Al Jazeera: Your new news network

To the Editor:

I am not going to blame you for a home bias. We all prefer what we are familiar with and are skeptical towards the unfamiliar. But what do you think about this? U.S. researchers showed the same TV clip to two groups of people: One clip was attributed to a news channel unfamiliar to U.S. audiences; then the clip was shown to another group with a completely fake attribution to CNN. Not surprisingly, the latter clip was deemed more credible. Good for CNN.

Next: Just the other day, there was a news item on TV about demands by people in Libya (remember: The Libyan people successfully ousted dictator Muammar Gaddafi two years ago). Now the people protested the increasing power of the Muslim Brotherhood that was trying to reestablish the old dictatorial power (like in Egypt? - you must have heard about that!). People protested a recent bombing, which they blamed on the strife between Sunnis and Shiites. Heard nothing about that? No surprise, it was no-news to our "news channels."

Who reported those facts, completely unbiased? A new channel on your dial: Al Jazeera. DirecTV carries it on channel 358, Dish Network on channel 215, Comcast on channel 107. All currently available. With the exception of the All-American true red-white-blue channel named AT&T, which blocks it out. Where did Al Jazeera learn about independent, unbiased journalism? In Britain. So BBC in America (DirecTV: Channel 264) may be another alternative to NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox News. But I encourage you to take a peek at the new kid on the block. You may learn something - and wonder why you never demanded more information before.

Klaus Kraemer