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Letters: McGovern's message good for today

Democratic presidential candidate, U.S. Sen. George McGovern, speaks

Democratic presidential candidate, U.S. Sen. George McGovern, speaks to Local 1199, a hospital workers union, at the National Maritime Union Hall in Manhattan. (Oct. 4, 1972) Photo Credit: AP

The passing of Sen. George McGovern, the unsuccessful 1972 Democratic Party presidential candidate from South Dakota, reminded me that he was ahead of his time ["George McGovern, 1922-2012," News, Oct. 22].

McGovern's platform included ending the Vietnam War and using the billions wasted on the war to rebuild America. He wanted to save lives by bringing the troops home sooner.

In his race against Richard M. Nixon, McGovern didn't always emphasize his military experience as a decorated World War II bomber pilot. Nixon attempted to portray him as soft on national defense.

Consider today's expenditure of more than $1 trillion between our Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Has it been worth spending the dollars and lives for what we have gotten in return?

Larry Penner, Great Neck

I am saddened by the passing of another of the Greatest Generation, a boy from the heartland who flew B-24 missions over Nazi Germany and returned home to serve his nation in Congress and as a presidential candidate.

I feel privileged to have shared some common time on Earth with the likes of the late Sen. George McGovern.

Edward B. "Woody" Ryder IV, Greenlawn