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As a schoolboy, Rohan Murphy kept a positive attitude

Newsday letters to the editor for Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018

Rohan Murphy, a former star wrestler, takes a

Rohan Murphy, a former star wrestler, takes a selfie with school principal Johane Ligonde and her students at John W. Dodd Middle School in Freeport after an inspirational speech by Murphy on Dec. 12, 2018. Murphy, a graduate of East Islip High School who lost both his legs at birth, spoke with seventh-graders about the importance of overcoming adversity. Photo Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

It was heartwarming to read the Dec. 13 news story “12-year-old meets his match,” about 35-year-old motivational speaker Rohan Murphy visiting a 12-year-old boy in Freeport. Both do not have legs.

To overcome any adversity requires resilience and courage. Rohan has that courage. I worked at Islip Terrace Junior High School (now East Islip Middle School) when he attended. I remember his mother, a strong advocate for her son. She believed in him, and I saw how he reflected her positive attitude.

Between periods, students joined Rohan in the halls. They helped him and learned how to be present for another person. His many teachers encouraged and challenged Rohan, so that by the time he was in high school, he was wrestling. Wrestling!

His success in sports and speaking has demonstrated how to rise above adversity and move beyond oneself to extend an invitation to others to do the same.

No one knows what is going on in the lives of young people Rohan speaks to, but it gives me great joy in this season of hope that they may be inspired to follow his example. Even one act of kindness can change everything.

Susan Scalone, Shoreham

Recreational pot will hurt the nation

The medical profession is questioning the negative effects of e-cigarettes on young people, as well as on adults.

But not much is being said about the negative effects recreational marijuana will have on young and old alike [“Cuomo: Legalize marijuana,” News, Dec. 18].

Grandma’s old saying, “Do as I say, and not as I do,” hasn’t held true for recent generations. Children mimic their elders with regard to alcohol, smoking, vaping and sex regardless of age limitations.

One of Grandma’s other sayings does, however, hold true: “This country is going to hell in a handbasket.”

I pity the young, and I am glad I am probably old enough not to have to witness the horrendous results the government’s greed and stupidity will have on generations to come.

Lorraine Maggio, Oakdale

U.S. needs a big outcry on climate

This is an open letter to all environmental organizations: I know that you fight many important battles on environmental issues, but the current dire situation requires mass demonstrations by the American people to fight climate change [“Humanity must preserve the planet,” Letters, Dec. 12].

Mass demonstrations like the women’s marches around the country and the world last January are needed. But they also need to be ongoing. We need leadership, and you are our leaders. Get out in front and lead Americans in a crusade. The consequences are the very survival of humanity and suffering of people around the world.

Adam D. Fisher, Port Jefferson Station

End administration’s ‘war on children’

When I was a little girl, World War II had just ended. I helped my parents and grandmother prepare care packages to send to our relatives in Poland. People were starving in Europe. We sent food to them, to Russia, to anyone we, as an American nation, could. Subsequently we have rushed to famine, flood, earthquake, volcanos, plagues and tsunamis to help, to feed, to cure and to rebuild.

Under President Donald Trump, we are complicit in the starvation of many in the nation of Yemen, particularly its children. Until a recent truce, U.S.-backed Saudi Arabian forces attacked the city of Hudaydah, blocking humanitarian aid for thousands of starving people [“U.S. need not kowtow to Saudis,” Letters, Dec. 12].

Meanwhile, Mexican and Central Americans seeking asylum in the United States have had children taken away. The New York Times reported this week that some 15,000 migrant children, including adolescents who crossed the border alone and young children who were separated from their parents, are living in more than 100 shelters in the United States. Many in a tent city in Tornillo, Texas, have sponsors in this country, but slow background checks are holding up their release. I fear that some children will never be reunited with their families.

When will it be enough for us Americans to prevent the Trump regime from continuing his war on children?

Linda Maria Frank, Massapequa Park

Cold War vets also don’t get recognition

I can appreciate a letter writer’s frustration after having served in the Army in Korea but not being recognized along with others who have served [“Again, vets of Korea are overlooked,” Dec. 12].

I am a Cold War veteran. I served in the Navy as a dental technician from December 1955 through January 1959. I get upset when veterans of my era are not recognized for our service. It’s as if we don’t exist. We served our country, but have less recognition because we didn’t serve in wartime. There are even veterans organizations we cannot join.

I have spoken to many wartime vets about this and they agree there should be no difference between a Cold War veteran and others. We all served; some gave more than others, but isn’t that usually the way?

Sabato Bonavita, Rockville Centre

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