The forgotten who served
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.
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
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]