Off the Editor’s Desk – 5-1-2013

Thanks, Willie

Our thanks goes out to County Western Singer Willie Nelson who turned his 80th birthday concert Sunday night into a benefit for the volunteer fire departments of West, Texas and Abbot, Texas.

A large fertilizer plant exploded on April 17 in West, Texas taking 14 lives and injuring hundreds. Eleven of the dead are brother firefighters with four of them being EMTs from those two Texas fire departments. The national news media did cover the event that happened the same week as the Boston bombing.

I cannot imagine the loss these communities feel.

 Apparently a half million pounds of ammonium nitrate fertilizer was stored at the facility in West, TX and that exploded. About 4,000 pounds of the same fertilizer was used in the Oklahoma City bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal building on April 19, 1995. Timothy McVeigh was convicted of that crime which was the worst act of terrorism in the United States until 9-11-2001. McVeigh was put to death by lethal injection on June 11, 2001.

Our hearts are saddened by these events that have taken so much from American families, like the explosion and the scentless acts of violence.

A week ago we attended church in Hayward and during time to ask for prayers, one person asked that we have in our hearts forgiveness for those brothers that did the Boston bombing.

I know it is hard to forgive a thing like that, especially if you have a relationship with one of the victims. I was quick to blame those two because of their national origin and religious belief, but that is a big mistake.

Our country has always been the melting pot of the different society’s of the world and probably will continued to be for generations to come. We have different beliefs and we should not lump one group as all bad. We all have bad apples in our barrel, but we have to identify those and kept them from harming others.

President Wilson tried to keep us from speaking German during the first war and Roosevelt rounded up all Japanese Americans during the second war and that turned out to be an expensive idea for this country.

I would ask everyone to pray for those families that have been touched by these and other violent acts.

If you would like to help Willie Nelson with his benefit for the West, TX fire department. The address is 111 South Reagan St., P. O. 97, West, TX  76691. Thanks.

— Carlton