Letters to the Editor

Letters - June 17, 2011

The death of bin Laden
Celebration is absolutely appropriate

I believe that the opinion expressed in the May 6 editorial (The death of bin Laden: victory at a terrible cost) that questioned the appropriateness of celebrating bin Laden’s death is overly critical and does not do justice to the brave men and women who have risked their lives for these past 10 years in the War on Terrorism that the U.S. did not start. The editorial states that thousands of these military personnel and tens of thousands of peoples in Iraq and Afghanistan have died, but cynically infers that the reason for this is because of flippant and unsupported allusions to  badly bungled missions, wasted lives, wasted dollars and profiteering perpetrated on a misled American society.

As a former Navy SEAL myself, I can credibly relate to the significant sacrifices that these SEALs, their helicopter support crews and their families have had to endure in order to accomplish this mission. Essentially, for several years, they all have sacrificed life’s basic pleasures in order to train and be ready to respond at a moment’s notice. These brave men would have accomplished this mission even if they all died. Their standby teammates and the support of all other assets up to the president himself would have ensured that. They were prepared for that. The difficult part for the SEALs was getting to the target and not killing the innocents. The easy part was killing bin Laden. The most important part of this mission was the retrieval of documents that will allow the entire world to better fend off evil. It is this intelligence collection — the primary mission of Navy SEALs — that will have the most beneficial, long term effect.

We should all recognize this basic fact. We do not celebrate death — we celebrate life. The importance of this strategically successful mission can not be overestimated. It unequivocally will lead to a safer world. Hopefully, with continued efforts and all our support, it will someday lead to a safe world.

So yes, celebration is absolutely appropriate. Let us not feel guilty in doing so.

Thomas Kleehammer

Kitsap Harbor Festival
Thanks for all who attended

If you joined us in Bremerton or Port Orchard for the third annual Kitsap Harbor Festival, you already know what a great event this was. With activities for every age, music and something to see or do every day, this Memorial Day weekend celebration was a hit.

An event that involves this many community organizations with simultaneous activities in two cities is a challenge for the volunteers to coordinate. We are particularly grateful to our sponsors, including Coca Cola, Waste Management, Baymont Inn, Fairfield Inn and the Port of Bremerton.

A special thank you, as well, to the City of Bremerton and Bremerton Marina and the City of Port Orchard and Port Orchard Marina for hosting us on their waterfronts.

Let us know how we can make the Kitsap Harbor Festival even better next year. We look forward to hosting this event every Memorial Day weekend.

Steve Slaton
Kitsap Harbor Festival Committee chairman

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