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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

July 4, 2013 at 7:00 AM

America’s birthday

The Endangered Species Act is a great American success

Eric Hoelscher, 10, salutes the American Flag during a color guard flag ceremony to mark the end of the Troop 574 Boy Scouts of America's meeting inside the gymnasium at Cedar Park Church in Bothell, on Monday, June 17, 2013. [Marcus Yam, The Seattle Times.]

Eric Hoelscher, 10, salutes the American Flag during a color guard flag ceremony to mark the end of the Troop 574 Boy Scouts of America’s meeting inside the gymnasium at Cedar Park Church in Bothell, on Monday, June 17, 2013. [Marcus Yam, The Seattle Times.]

As the impending celebration of our nation’s independence provides the opportunity to reflect on the great merits of our country, one piece of legislation stands as a shining example of what makes America so special.

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is a uniquely American law, and this year, it turns 40. It is a testament to the idea that the protection of our native species and their ecosystems is, by its very nature, one that bridges the partisan divide and brings both sides together as human beings for the purpose of conserving the world that they live in.

Richard Nixon recognized this when he signed the law in 1973, and his belief in the cause has been vindicated by its success in the last 40 years. One must look no further than the dramatic recovery of the bald eagle in the Pacific Northwest to see its merits.

There are, however, those in Congress that would seek to gut the ESA and render it powerless. It would be foolish to turn our backs on such a unique and successful law, and I hope that my fellow Seattleites agree with me, and let their representatives know this.

Carl Crow, Mercer Island

Veterans deserve better treatment

I don’t go to Independence Day parades anymore. The hypocrisy is beyond the pale. When I see veterans march by, even though they are required to do heroic things on a daily basis, I don’t see heroes; I see victims.

There is a myth that troops returning home from deployment in the Middle East are treated better than returning Vietnam veterans were. Not true. I’ve received much better care in my day than returning troops today.

Oh sure, we thank them for their service when we see them shopping at Walmart, but today, men and women with families are deployed again and again. Many are on food stamps to make ends meet.

As the troops march by this year, we should hang our heads in shame. We are not the people we like to believe we are. But we could be.

Jeff Curtis, Edmonds

0 Comments | Topics: america, endangered species act, parade

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