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Community service requirement is way to increase student awareness

To The Daily Sun,

Letter writer Ruth Dunnavan misses a very important point in her article regarding community service for students. This program, which is a part of many schools throughout the country, is to encourage volunteer activism in the community. This is neither a fee or tax program. These programs help instill increased self-esteem for these students as well as awareness of the communities they live in. There are many school agendas that have requirements that students need to graduate. This by far is one of the most important ones.

Fire companies and EMS programs are based on volunteer participation in many communities. Political activities are often volunteer based. Many government boards such as planning boards, zoning boards are often volunteer staffed. In the New Hampton and Bristol area, SUN or Stand Up Newfound is dedicated to helping those afflicted with substance addiction is run by volunteers.

Our country has long histories of many organizations staffed by volunteers. The Revolutionary War was almost totally volunteer. The Civil War had volunteers to fight in this period of time. The list is endless.

It is really essential to open the doors of volunteers to the students as part of their education. It is a learning process. In addition, one better appreciates the efforts that volunteers contribute to their communities.

Soup kitchens rely often on volunteers to help the homeless. Some students go among the homeless by setting up "sleep camps" in the streets to better understand the lot the homeless face.

This requirement of community service is an honorable way to help develop students and increase their awareness of what is in their community. It will also help them to be better informed citizens when they become eligible to vote, and pay taxes. In addition, students can choose the community service they wish to participate in.

Lastly, the internal rewards of self-esteem and personal satisfaction that comes from this experience is without limitations.

Robert T. Joseph, Jr.

New Hampton

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Let's not back N. Korea into a corner with no way to 'save face'

To The Daily Sun,

Few would argue that North Korea and its leadership are not dangerous. Not only is North Korea a highly repressive dictatorship that routinely violates human rights and controls all information going in and going out but they also have "The Bomb." And, the country tries to provoke the world by routinely testing its missile systems.
While it is questionable as to how much of the U.S. mainland could be reached by one of Mr. Kim's missiles, they certainly can reach Japan or South Korea. He probably only has, at most, a few nukes and their yield is probably no larger than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima but anyone who has seen the "after" photos of Hiroshima knows that we are not dealing with mere firecrackers.
Not only would such an attack be devastating to the South Koreans but it would also endanger the 30,000-plus U.S. troops stationed in that country. This writer was once one of them. Perhaps no one (including the U.S.A. and Russia) should have nukes but North Korea should definitely not have them.
At the same time, President Trump needs to be extremely careful about how he deals with the North Korean problem. It would be extremely foolish — and dangerous — to approach the North Korean leadership with a "cowboy" posture. Mr. Kim, his father, and his grandfather have been making threats toward the United States and South Korea for years but there have only been a few relatively minor incidents since the seizure of the U.S.S. Pueblo in 1969.
The important thing to remember when dealing with a traditionally Confucian society like North Korea is the importance of "saving face." Understanding the culture and its norms is important. It would be a serious mistake to back North Korea into a corner with no honorable "out" other than launching nuclear-armed missiles.
President Trump's request for Chinese help in resolving this problem was a wise move. The Chinese have had dealings with Korea for centuries. Much of Korea's culture was adopted from China. The Chinese are much better at dealing with North Korea than many other nations. And, as the president has hinted, China could be rewarded for her help in this matter.

E. Scott Cracraft

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