The for­got­ten who served

Lodi News-Sentinel - - OPINION -

Edi­tor: Five women sleep among the thou­sands of men in­terred at the Amer­i­can Ceme­tery and Me­mo­rial south of Florence, Italy. Largely for­got­ten, women who gave their lives in the vast col­li­sion of cul­tures and ide­olo­gies which came to an end 74 years ago, fe­male free­dom fight­ers served in nearly ev­ery role tra­di­tion­ally filled by men. In the Soviet Union, women were among the best fighter pi­lots.

His­tory tends to treat women on bat­tle­fields as cu­riosi­ties. An­cient Greeks mar­veled at “Ama­zons,” women said to have their right breasts re­moved so they could more ef­fi­ciently use bows and ar­rows. Women served openly and covertly in the Amer­i­can Revo­lu­tion­ary War and Civil War. Some tightly bound their chests to hide their gen­der, while others ig­nored the is­sue en­tirely and sim­ply aimed guns at the enemy.

Un­til present day, when fe­males serve with dis­tinc­tion in ev­ery branch of the armed forces, jobs available to fe­males were lim­ited. Most were in med­i­cal ser­vices, food prepa­ra­tion, and re­lated tasks. Now “gals,” a some­what-dis­mis­sive term for bright, well-trained pi­lots, fly ad­vanced jet fight­ers.

Some men still have dif­fi­culty ac­cept­ing their distaff col­leagues. Let them re­call the chal­lenge poet John Green­leaf Whit­tier at­trib­uted to Bar­bara Fritchie, ad­dress­ing Con­fed­er­ate troops dur­ing the Civil War: “Shoot if you must this old gray head, but spare your coun­try’s flag!”

The hand that rocks the cra­dle rules the world. While hon­or­ing the memory of mil­lions of men who stormed beaches in France, bring­ing Nazi tyranny down in flames less than a year later, for­get not those pow­er­ful, brave women who also fought, in the fields as well as in fac­to­ries, cock­pits of air­craft fer­ried from North Amer­ica to land­ing strips over­seas, behind enemy lines as se­cret agents, in Pentagon typ­ists’ pools, and hum­ble homes.

They also serve who stand and wait. Women’s con­tri­bu­tions to the nation’s vic­to­ries in war must be hon­ored as much as the world ap­plauds the brav­ery and self-sac­ri­fice of men who raced ashore on Omaha Beach — some to stay for­ever, others to drive re­lent­lessly for­ward to save the world for Democ­racy.

LANGE WINCKLER

Lodi

A thank you for sup­port­ing the Walk

Edi­tor: The Lodi Me­mo­rial Hos­pi­tal Foundation held its 29th an­nual Walk for the Health of It on May 11. This year’s event at­tracted over 1,000 par­tic­i­pants, who along with event sponsors raised in ex­cess of $50,000. The to­tal amount raised over the last 29 years is in ex­cess of $1.25 mil­lion.

The fund­ing gen­er­ated by this great com­mu­nity event has been ear­marked ex­clu­sively for the ac­qui­si­tion of new equip­ment at Lodi Me­mo­rial Hos­pi­tal, and now Ad­ven­tist Health, Lodi Me­mo­rial. Pro­ceeds from this years event will be used to as­sist in the pur­chase of stereo­tac­tic breast biopsy equip­ment which aides in the early de­tec­tion, and treat­ment of breast can­cer.

The LMH Foundation is proud to sup­port Ad­ven­tist Health’s commitment to com­mu­nity health. As part of the Walk the staff at Ad­ven­tist Health pro­vide health screen­ing ser­vices to the par­tic­i­pants.

None of this would be pos­si­ble with­out the sup­port of nu­mer­ous vol­un­teers, and sponsors, who are rec­og­nized at the event.

The City of Lodi, and par­tic­u­larly the Lodi Po­lice De­part­ment, also pro­vide much ap­pre­ci­ated sup­port for the event.

The pur­pose of this let­ter is to thank our neigh­bors who live along the Walk route, and the res­i­dents of Lodi, for their co­op­er­a­tion over the years. We know that for a cou­ple of hours dur­ing the Walk there are some in­con­ve­niences for those who live along the route, and to driv­ers who ex­pe­ri­ence brief de­lays at some of the in­ter­sec­tions the route crosses.

To all of you we want to say thanks.

The Walk pro­vides valu­able sup­port to­wards achiev­ing a Health­ier Lodi, and your co­op­er­a­tion is cru­cial. PHIL FELDE LMH Foundation Board mem­ber

Let­ters in­vited

The Lodi News-Sen­tinel wel­comes opin­ions from its read­ers. Let­ters must be signed and in­clude the writer’s ad­dress and phone num­ber for in­ter­nal ver­i­fi­ca­tion pur­poses. All let­ters are sub­ject to edit­ing. Let­ters from lo­cal read­ers deal­ing with lo­cal is­sues are given pri­or­ity. Let­ters from out­side the lo­cal area are pub­lished at the edi­tor’s dis­cre­tion. Let­ters longer than 350 words will be cut to fit or returned to their writ­ers. There is a hold­ing pe­riod of 30 days be­tween pub­li­ca­tion of let­ters by the same per­son un­less no other let­ters are queued. Send let­ters to P.O. Box 1360, Lodi, CA 95241-1360; or email to let­[email protected]

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