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Now that Black History Month has arrived again, the U.S. Postal Service and the Jamaica Postal Advisory Committee are hard at work preparing this year’s Black History Month stamp unveiling. This year, the stamp will honor a brave, multi-talented young man who joined the U.S. Navy to see the world. His name was Doris “Dorie” Miller.
We hope you can and will join us Feb. 26 at the Jamaica Library at 89-11 Merrick Blvd. in its auditorium. Since we expect this event to be special, and we hope our attendees will not be disturbed once the program begins, we advise that when the program starts at 11 a.m. the auditorium doors be closed. The program ends at 1 p.m. and is followed by refreshments.
We are all following with great interest and hope the activities in Haiti in trying to recover and repair the damage in human and material destruction. We can all be proud of the work done by our troops, police and fire department representatives and others as well. Early on, I heard one member of our own medical team speaking about the contributions of other countries, too.
He spoke of a miraculous “instant hospital” set up in the midst of the first turmoil, fully equipped with a neo-natal “ward.” It supplied a large staff of doctors and nurses and even delivered a baby almost as soon as it was set up. That first day it was said to have cared for some 500 patients. Hospital workers were proud and said they had learned to make these portable hospitals so efficient because they had to man emergency situations for so long in their country of Israel. All the rescue workers have been astounded that so many people have been rescued after being buried for so long.
We all hope these people will be able to go on, improve their lives and continue to positively help their country and fellow Haitians. We wish them all safety in the future in spite of warnings from geologists that that area is still less than stable.
Every time there has been some kind of disaster, especially in later years, I have wondered why some of our elected officials have not paid more urgent attention to the need of expanded medical facilities in critical areas. We all know many of our local hospitals have been forced to close for lack of funds.
As much as they believe in humanitarian efforts, bills must be paid if service is rendered. When that is not done, it is like trying to overload a lifeboat. It sinks and then everyone is lost. Many tried to warn that things like that were beginning to happen, not only in the hospitals, but in schools and other venues as well.
We have been forced to note, sadly, that many private schools have been forced to close and many public schools have been forced to reorganize. Houses of worship are also having trouble keeping up with financial obligations and so are being forced to curtail some activities that might otherwise have enhanced the lives of many.
The present economic situation has certainly not helped, but I am afraid much of the problem has been due to many folks not taking their responsibilities as seriously as they should. Many of our readers have noted my particular interest in the veterans hospital in St. Albans. I have pounded the drum for years trying to have that problem resolved by having the hospital updated to full service.
It should also include a chapel that can be reached by patients without going outside. A women’s domiciliary should also be included, possibly a therapeutic pool and other buildings for veterans between hospitalization and re-establishing their lives in general society. Many in high places have fought this idea; some are now supportive.
Everyone should be. Our veterans are all special people. They have sacrificed a great portion of their lives and shame on anyone who may not want them to receive the best of everything as a reward for what they have done for this country and each of us. If this facility is not properly updated and disaster should hit, then what? Who will want to hear excuses?
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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