Some Grinches among us
It's Christmas, and Colorado Springs can be thankful for many things. We have weathered major disasters. Our economy has improved, and more people can find jobs. There are a wealth of new projects in the works that will make our community an even better place to live and work. In addition, the City for Champions is not just a dream but a goal that can become a reality with the cooperative efforts of the great people who live here.
Many of us spend most of our time trying to make this a better place. Thousands of citizens give their time and money to help hundreds of nonprofits that care for the poor; create lively, exciting activities for young and old; see that we have the best health care, arts, education, sports and much more.
But we have some Grinches among us who are trying to steal not only Christmas but our future. They are a majority of our City Council, and they are doing more to hurt our city than help it as they defeat everything they can. 2014 is promising to be a bright year - it will all be in vain if we have a group of council members who are there to do nothing but create the same type of gridlock that we have suffered at the hands of our Congress. I urge the entire council to adopt a New Year's resolution to work not only with each other but also with Mayor Steve Bach to create an atmosphere of collaboration and cooperation so that our city can fully follow through on the wonderful opportunities we have close at hand.
Kathy Loo, Colorado Springs
Tracking Santa on a lonely night
On Christmas Eve of 1982, I had the swing shift inside NORAD's Cheyenne Mountain complex, southwest of Colorado Springs. I also had four little children waiting for Santa Claus. They would be in bed and asleep when I got off duty and drove home sometime in the early morning of the 25th. This wasn't the first Christmas Eve I missed with my family as a military man. But this time, at least I was close by, across town, and we could talk on the phone and have our "good nights" and "don't forget to leave cookies and milk for Santa" conversation. And when asked in their little child voice why I wasn't home, I said something lame about some of us having to work at night but that I could help them find Santa. I referred them to the NORAD Santa tracking on the local TV. They could now see that their daddy was helping to find Santa. I would next see them in the morning when they opened their gifts from Santa. At least I was coming home that morning. Some military men and women aren't home on Christmas.
But to little children, this wasn't anything commercial or militaristic. It was simply Santa and their daddy. That's it. I repeat, that's it! If anyone can read in anymore than this, then I challenge them to a public debate on the following:
1. Understanding children 2. Why some people's gene pool lack basic common sense 3. That gene pools east of the Mississippi River in this country seem to have a higher rate of deficiency of common sense, and 4. The role of the military in this country any time of the year for any event. (Recall the military responders in hurricane, flood and any other disaster relief. Don't forget that part about protecting the Constitution . right, how about that First Amendment that most of the world doesn't have.)
I retired from the military over a couple of decades ago. One of my children back when I was doing the Christmas Eve shift in NORAD is now a father of four. He is driving 1,300 miles with wife and kids to visit us in Colorado Springs. He is from Colorado Springs. When all are here, we will track Santa from the NORAD site. The little ones will ask only the simple little children questions, and get the reminder to put cookies and milk out for Santa. When they ask "Where is Santa now . ?" we will check to see that he is somewhere over British Columbia or near Montana heading south to Colorado escorted by the Canadian CF-18s. They will know that's cool and Santa will make it because he is in good hands. They know this because their daddy also flies an F-18. And they also know that he was gone last Christmas in Afghanistan for a year. And for those misguided souls in Boston that likely couldn't find the Mississippi River on a map much less Colorado Springs, I would add to my public debate challenge, whether or not they understand the concept of "sacrifices" however big or small, that are endured by those men and women in the military, who are also moms and dads, when they are away from their family. This is not just about one night in NORAD or tracking Santa. This is about insulting all Americans in uniform.
For those of us that over 30 years ago sat inside the NORAD complex on Christmas Eve, we knew our job was standing vigil for the free world in an otherwise hostile world. But tracking Santa on a quiet and lonely night away from home was our way to make the experience a little less harsh and to connect with our children. When I read about the Boston-based organization criticizing this simple event today . I wonder if it was worth it.
Tom Menza, Colorado Springs
Do we need Christmas?
The Bible says in Luke 2:11, "For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior which is Christ the Lord." Most of the world, including the United States, believes and behaves as though the verse reads as follows, "For unto you is born this day a baby whose birthday we celebrate." While there may be a kernel of truth to the "worldly" version, the first thing we notice is that any reference to God has been removed, which also means the "Good News of the Gospel" has been eliminated. That belief and its implications are all too familiar. The slippery slope of removing God from our world has gained momentum over the years and we see the consequences of those decisions in the daily news.
Many will not even use the phrase "Merry Christmas" because of its obvious reference to the God of the Bible. While the world has changed its attitude toward God, He has not changed his attitude toward the world. Matthew 9:36 says of Christ, "But when he saw the multitudes he was moved with compassion on them because they fainted and were scattered abroad as sheep having no Shepherd" and the more familiar verse John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."
It is my hope that you may be among the "whosoever" that responds to God's compassion and love and that you trust Him as your Savior and Lord. Merry Christmas.
Harold Hutchcraft, Colorado Springs