National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman recites a poem during the...

National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman recites a poem during the inauguration of President Joe Biden at the Capitol on Jan. 20, 2021. Credit: AP/Patrick Semansky

Different viewpoints on holiday air show

I second Mary Beth Moore’s sentiment that a solemn occasion of remembrance should not be used to recruit our youth with weapons of war [“Air show is not appropriate for Memorial Day,” Opinion, May 25].

Aside from Moore’s accurate assessment of how morally bankrupt it is to entice young people with “their almond-sized amygdala, the fight-or-flight lizard brains still vibrating with air show excitement,” we are living in a climate crisis.

Failure to change our behavior now will result in catastrophic and irreversible changes that will make the earth inhospitable to life for the next generations.

These aerial cheerleaders burn 1,600 gallons of fuel each during one show. Multiply that by six jets per show and dozens of shows a year.

The Navy budgets $40 million a year for this entertainment extravaganza. Let’s save the fuel for when it’s really needed and show our children that we truly love them by acting to secure their future on a habitable planet. The $40 million would go a long way toward funding social programs, helping children, seniors, the homeless and refugees.

 — Monica Weiss, Jamaica, Queens


Everyone wants peace, but peace is only achieved by being proactive and for the United States to maintain an active military. On Memorial Day, we honor our military past and present, so we do not forget their sacrifices.

My father and his two brothers did not want to leave their family and Brooklyn home to fight a war in Europe, but they felt they had no choice but to defend our country against the horrendous injustices perpetrated by our enemies.

For Mary Beth Moore to insinuate that the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force are only putting on the air show at Jones Beach to recruit youngsters is off-base.

My son and son-in-law were Marines, and I find her remarks insulting against our active military. It brings back memories of the disrespect shown to our returning soldiers from Vietnam.

Peace is always the desired goal, and I pray for it, but unfortunately wishing does not make it true.

 — Helen Murray, Floral Park

Jan. 6 pardons

On Memorial Day, we honor and mourn the men and women who gave their lives serving our great nation [“On LI, show of thanks,” News, May 28]. Each and every one swore to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign or domestic.

I couldn’t help but reflect on the Jan. 6 insurrection as I watched our local parade Monday in Massapequa Park. Hundreds of rioters have been convicted of crimes ranging from obstruction to seditious conspiracy. Recently, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis joined former President Donald Trump in saying they would consider pardoning those convicted in attempting to prevent the affirmation of the presidential election results.

What could be more disrespectful to the hundreds of thousands of Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice defending our democracy?

 — Michael Cooney, Massapequa Park

So much wrong with banning this poem

The dominoes keep toppling. An inaugural poem by National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman was banned by a Florida school at the insistence of a single parent [“Fla. school bans poem,” Nation, May 25].

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s Parents’ Bill of Rights never passed the Senate, yet it gives witness to an undemocratic trend gaining momentum: Professionals, teachers and administrators are not to be trusted in the job for which they were trained.

Lately, book banning seems a more frequent occurrence. For many, teaching respect for transgender students has become a political no-no. First Amendment freedoms and requirements are being ravaged by politics.

As a former English teacher, I ask parents seeking bans: Would you like to discipline my classes, teach critical thinking, coherent writing, and how a student should judge what he reads? Certainly, parents have the right and obligation to know what their children study, and they should seek a forum in which to interact with curriculum designers.

Academic freedom and professional expertise, however, must never be shackled by political partisanship. A poem read at a presidential inauguration must not ever be banned by one parent.

 — Hank Cierski, Port Jefferson Station


I am saddened and sick to my stomach that an elementary school banned a poem written by a youth. All children write poems, usually as part of their school assignments to foster self-expression and creativity. How is it possible that any one parent’s opinion can hold such power?

I am also frightened for the future. This is so wrong. We need this censorship to stop now.

 — Joan Lazaunik, Great Neck

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