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Letter: Bob Keeler offered a voice of compassion

Portrait of Newsday editorial board member Bob Keeler

Portrait of Newsday editorial board member Bob Keeler (April 11, 2012). Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara

The Mayan calendar was wrong about Dec. 21. However, that date was a sad one for me and my family when we noted the "Farewell" [Opinion, Dec. 21] to Bob Keeler by Newsday.

As a reader of Newsday since 1960, I have a deep appreciation of Keeler's distinctive, compassionate voice for social justice. His columns over the years have been catalysts for expanding civic engagement among scores of people with whom I have shared discussions. Keeler regularly elevated discourse on Long Island.

Keeler has a right to fare well after nearly 42 years at Newsday. Because he typically focuses on society rather than himself, we did not have a goodbye column from him.

Long Island is a better place wherever Keeler's voice continues to be heard, and when others are encouraged by his principled, civic passion.

Michael D'Innocenzo, Hempstead

Editor's note: The writer is a Hofstra University professor of history and the study of nonviolent social change.