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Mariners role in winning of WWII was never properly recognized

To The Daily Sun,

On Veterans Day lets remember "The Forgotten Heroes" — In World War II,  U.S. Merchant Marines were the first to go, the last to return, suffered the highest casualty rate and received no promised benefits.
The first American victim to Axis aggression was the "SS City of Flint", captured by a Nazi battleship in Oct.1939. The first U.S. ship sunk was the "MS City of
Rayville", which hit a German mine in Nov. 1940, killing one mariner. The toll of men killed grew to 243 before Pearl Harbor. Mariners were among the
first U.S. Prisoners of War and many were held by both the Germans and Japanese.

President Roosevelt said mariners were "fighting side by side with our Army and Navy." Mariners were at the front the moment they left port, subject to attack by submarine, surface raider, mines, bombers, kamikaze, and land-based artillery. Each was assigned a battle station and manned guns or passed ammunition during battle. About 9,300 mariners were killed and 12,000 wounded. Mariners suffered the highest casualty rate of any service during World War II, with 1 in 26 killed. Over 1,500 ships were sunk, with 1 in 8 mariners losing their ship. Casualties were kept secret during the war to avoid providing information to the enemy and to keep mariners at sea.

It took 15 tons of supplies to support one soldier for one year at the front. Mariners delivered tanks, amphibious craft, airplanes, jeeps, ammunition, PT boats, gasoline, aviation fuel, trucks, medicines, and food rations while taking part in every invasion from Normandy in Okinawa.

During the War the number of seamen grew from 55,000 to 250,000, mostly recruited by the U.S. Maritime Service, the official training organization. The Merchant Marine took volunteers 16 to 78 years old, some with one eye, one arm, one leg, or heart disease. Many were high school dropouts, eager to
help win the war. The Merchant Marine was the only racially integrated service.

Mariners remained in war zones long after the fighting troops came home to enjoy the benefits of the G.I. Bill. Mariners suffered many casualties as 54 ships struck mines after V-E or V-J Day.

As he signed the GI Bill in June 1944, President Roosevelt said: "I trust Congress will soon provide similar opportunities to members of the merchant marine who have risked their lives time and time again during war for the welfare of their country." With his death, mariners lost their champion. Mariners were denied benefits: unemployment, education, home or small business loans, priority for postwar jobs, and medical care for disabilities. Mariners were urged to stay at sea with promises of benefits and "your country needs you," but only received a "Thank you" letter from President Truman and a lapel pin. They suffered financial repercussions from this lack of benefits and opportunities all their lives.

Congress, created an application process for Veteran Status in 1977. Mariners were continually denied, while telephone operators and even Women's Air Service Pilots who washed out of training were approved. In 1987, three torpedoed mariners successfully sued the government, resulting in veteran status in Jan. 1988, too late for most benefits.

Mariners are honored on countless memorials across the country, including the new World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. Sadly, in some places, they are deemed "civilians" and relegated to the back of the monument.

Mariners still seek full, official recognition for their heroism and vital role in making World War II victory possible.

Comparison of Casualties: 1 in 26 Mariners killed; 1 in 34 Marine Corps killed; 1 in 48 Army killed; 1 in 114 Navy killed;  1 in 421 Coast Guard killed.

Jack Hanney
Retired Merchant Marine

Last Updated on Friday, 08 November 2013 11:38

Hits: 341

Experts on global warming now calling for more nuclear plants

To The Daily Sun,

I'm shocked, SHOCKED! Really, I am because I just read that four of the foremost experts on global warming are calling on the world to build more nuke power plants. Right, more nuke plants. In a letter to other green energy experts and science publications, James Hansen — former top NASA scientist, Ken Caldeira — of the Carngie Institute, Kerry Emanual of MIT and Tom Wigley of the University of Adelaid in Australia all believe we have no choice because solar and wind power units just can't scale up in time.
I've never been a big fan of the green movement but if folks like these are calling for nukes I may have to think about the idea a little more? I'm apparently not alone because most of the green movement has and is very much against the nuke industry. Nukes have never been a big favorite of mine either, mostly because of the disposal problems and more recently fear they could attract terrorist attacks. Must feel like a rock and a hard place for the experts.
This will be interesting to see how the devoted green activists respond to this.
Steve Earle


Last Updated on Friday, 08 November 2013 11:25

Hits: 202

Another newspaper editor (and E.J.) served as mayor in 1930s

To The Daily Sun,

Congratulations are in order for Edward J. Engler, a great newspaperman, upon his election as Mayor of Laconia. He follows in the footsteps of another civic-minded publisher, who shared his first name and middle initial, the late Edward J. Gallagher (1890-1978), who founded what was then the Laconia Evening Citizen in 1925.
Mr. Gallagher, a Democrat when the city held partisan elections, was mayor of Laconia from 1937 to 1939.
Although a New Deal Democrat who served his party as state vice chairman (1939) as a delegate to its national convention (1944), and as a delegate to two state constitutional conventions (1912, 1956), Mr. Gallagher nevertheless took pains to be a fair reporter of the news and to cultivate a thoughtful but low key editorial policy — a reflection of his philosophy that it's not a good idea for a newspaper to, in his words, "keep a community all stirred up."
Like Mr. Engler, "E.J.," as Gallagher was commonly known around and about, was a transplant, who also like Mr. Engler, had published a newspaper in another city, before laying roots in Laconia. Born in Concord, Gallagher first published the Concord Daily Patriot before its offices burned in a spectacular fire that completely destroyed the White's Opera House Block on Park Street near the State House in 1920, which Gallagher also owned.
But Gallagher would not be stopped. After suffering a loss of over $150,000, a huge amount in 1920, within five years he was up and running his presses in Laconia, publishing a daily newspaper begun from scratch that became successful throughout his lifetime and beyond.
And like E.J. Gallagher, Mr. Engler must be made of similar stuff to even contemplate, let alone attempt to pioneer a daily newspaper at a time when most such animals were, and are, on life support, and in a city that long had one, to boot.
But The Laconia Daily Sun is prospering. Read in nearly every waiting room, diner, barbershop and breakfast table in the Lakes Region, the paper not only efficiently presents the news of the day in an attractive format, but generously provides a lively public forum for its readers as none other.
And darned if it isn't free of charge. And, that's one thing old E.J. Gallagher did not do.
Now, Mr. Engler, who among many other accomplishments has held elective office before, as did his late counterpart, will soon be sworn in as Mayor of Laconia.
So, congratulations and best wishes are indeed the order of the day, "Your Honor!" Or should we now be calling you "E.J."?
Guess maybe both would work.

Dean Dexter


Last Updated on Friday, 08 November 2013 11:17

Hits: 335

Republican temper tantrums will keep these fights going & going

To The Daily Sun,

Like many of my neighbors, I was relieved when the government shutdown ended. Yet the truth is that unless Republicans in Congress stop throwing temper tantrums to get what they want, these fights will not be going away. They aren't cheap: this 15-day shutdown cost our government $24 billion dollars, and that doesn't include the cost to New Hampshire's economy. Navy Yard contractors and Portsmouth businesses took a huge hit.

It is ridiculous that Senator Ayotte harps on the value of fiscal responsibility but does nothing to reign in Tea Party excesses. Her Tea Party leaders nearly destroyed America's credit rating while wasting billions of dollars. When she was sworn into office she promised to represent the interests of New Hampshire families, yet under her watch her own party has enacted policies that have cost New Hampshire families jobs and income. She has done nothing to stop them. She is, in fact, doing the opposite by putting forward so-called solutions that will perpetuate the Tea Party's job killing agenda.

Senator Ayotte's priorities are backwards, New Hampshire's familiies should come before her Washington buddies.

Lew Henry
Gilmanton Iron Works

Last Updated on Thursday, 07 November 2013 11:54

Hits: 251

Thanks for all the generous support of the Meredith Food Pantry

To The Daily Sun,
The Meredith Emergency Food Pantry and all of our volunteers would like to thank the very generous support that everyone has given us. It is all of you that help us to help others. A thank you to, Kiwanis, Forest View, Rotary, Hannaford, Inter-Lake's Schools, and all of the other people in our community As well as all the others that have supported us.

Once again thank you all. A special thank you sent out to the children Sunday school of the Congregational Church in Meredith. Also a thank you to St. Charles Church, The Lions Club, Trinity Church, Heath's in Center Harbor, and the Congregational Church in Center Harbor.

Thank you once again,
Paul Rowley

Meredith Emergency Food Pantry

Last Updated on Thursday, 07 November 2013 11:50

Hits: 244

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