The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

November 11, 2013

Tribune Readers’ Views — Monday, November 11, 2013

What has happened to the United States?

“Shoot if you must this old, grey head, But spare your Country’s flag.”

These lines from a famous poem, “Barbara Frietchie,” by John Greenleaf Whittier, depicts the resolve of a 90-year-old woman during the Civil War to protect her home and flag from Confederate soldiers. Stonewall Jackson ordered, “March on.”

Today, I wonder how many Americans would be willing to have their head shot off to protect our flag?

On Saturday, (Nov. 2) I attended the Red Cross Craft Show at the Lewis Center. It was crowded, and as we made our way from one room to another, I was appalled when I saw our nation’s flag lying in a heap on the floor. It was at the Boy Scout booth. People were stepping on it, kicking it aside or stepping over it to get into the next room.

“That flag does not belong on the floor,” I said to the Scout leader. He and his assistant looked at each other, and he pulled me aside and explained that it was a test to see how many people would object to the disrespect it was receiving. The flag was going to be retired and was used in the test.

At the end of the ceremony, he told me that only three people objected. One picked it up and placed it on a chair, and I and one other voiced objection.

What has happened to our country that we no longer give a hoot what happens as long as we are not personally affected?

My late husband spent three years in a POW camp during World War II defending that flag and our country, and I am angered to see the lack of respect that people feel for our flag and our country in general. Granted, politicians have revolted all of us, but they are not our country — we the people are.

I still choke up with my hand over my heart as our National Anthem is being played or I sing “My country ‘tis of thee, sweet land of liberty.”

My fellow citizens, when these old, grey heads are gone and the banner of a dictator or the anti-Christ flies overhead, you will yearn to see the Stars and Stripes one more time.

Ginny Cracraft

Oak Hill


Blood drive organizers grateful for support

Terri's Tribute and supporters would like to say “thank you,” once again, to our wonderful community for all the support you continue to lend us.

The Terri Massey Memorial Blood Drive was held Oct. 26 and the turn out was phenomenal. We collected 148 units of blood; that is the second highest number collected in our region in several years.

We are honored that people will take the time from their busy weekends to come out, wait and give blood to help someone in need. The Red Cross says every unit can save 3 lives; that means we have made a difference to 444 individuals because of this blood drive.

I thank you, and I salute you for your kindness and generosity.

Dana Treadway

Terri’s Tribute


Former schools super questions actions of local, state boards

(Editor’s note: The following letter from George “Matt” Edwards, former superintendent of Fayette County Schools, was written to Gayle Manchin, president of the West Virginia State Board of Education, and forwarded to The Fayette Tribune for publication.)

The 10-year facilities plan for Fayette County schools has remained the same, no changes at all, even though our citizens have given a majority vote against bond issues twice during the last five years. What will it take for the Fayette County Board of Education and the West Virginia Board of Education to realize that our people do not agree with the plan and will vote it down again?

Recently, the Fayette County Board of Education hired a group identified as the “Rainmakers” at the expense of $24,750. Allegedly, the purpose for this group was to assist in endeavors in educating our citizens about the logistics of bond issues — not to persuade a “yes” or “no” vote on bonds.

In contrast, the Board, operating through Rainmakers, worked diligently to entice citizens to place a “yes” vote in future bond elections. The group held several meetings, but the manner in which those meetings were arranged and conducted presented numerous irregularities.. . .

The first question that was presented to the select group: “Why did you vote against the last bond issue?” In response, the big question that arose for that select group: “How did they know how I voted?” Furthermore: “Voting is supposed to be private...”

The next question that the Rainmakers presented: “What would it take for you to vote ‘yes’ on a future bond issue?”

The list of names of some of the select people who attended those meetings is in the possession of Mark Manchin and his assistant. Those people are ready to verify the actions of the Rainmakers and also are ready to testify to those actions.

Since the State Board has oversight of the Fayette Board, accountability for actions of the Rainmaker group resides within the jurisdiction of the State Board. And, since voter fraud involves a federal offense, it appears that there is a good liability suit in the wings.

It is advisable that the West Virginia Board of Education become more responsible and work with Fayette County citizens in a fair and logical manner to initiate and produce an educational plan that will be acceptable for our citizens and profitable for our students.

George “Matt” Edwards