The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


April 27, 2013

Readers' Forum 4-27 | Another tragedy pulls Americans together

— On Oct. 9, 2011, a letter was published in The Tribune-Democrat regarding a suggestion for a memorial flag dedicated to the heroes of Flight 93.

The final paragraph stated that “we can’t change the tragic events of Sept. 11, but perhaps we, as Americans, can change the way other countries think of us by showing them what real patriotism is all about.”

It bears repeating, as I watched the final moments of the capture of the suspected individual responsible for the Boston Marathon bombings, where residents of Watertown, Mass., lined the streets and cheered and applauded the law-enforcement personnel as they drove away from the scene.

We can’t change the tragedy of the Boston Marathon bombings, but the citizens of Watertown truly did prove to the rest of the world what real patriotism is all about.

God bless America.

Janet Kokel


Our elected officials need to give back, too

All elected officials ­– federal, state, county and local – should lead by example.

Very few have given up pay increases and benefits – pensions included. The taxpayers pay for most elected officials’ pensions.

Where else but in Pennsylvania can an elected representative take a job at a substantial salary and then receive an unaccountable-for per-diem allowance when he or she attends sessions in Harrisburg?

Elected officials’ vehicle use should be monitored like military motor pools are. Usage must be accounted for.

Wake up. Let’s put America’s needs first.

Then if we have the money, help other nations. We should not borrow money to do so.

Maybe our elected officials should take notice of how Pope Francis leads by example.

Clarence Horner


Accept responsibility or face consequences

Responsibility is defined as “the state of being responsible; that for which one is responsible; a duty; a change; an obligation or accountability.”

My mother-in-law once said to me: “The problem with a lot of people today is that they don’t accept responsibility for their actions.”

First and foremost, we are all responsible to the Lord God Almighty. Then we are responsible for ourselves. Then to all around us – in the workplace, at home, in our business.

Wherever we go in life, we need to accept our responsibilities.

Among the reasons we don’t accept that responsibility is we fear what might happen, or that we might make a mistake.

One example where we might shrug off our responsibility in the workplace is, if we make a mistake, we often try to find someone else to blame out of fear of losing our position.

We need to remember that we are not only harming ourselves – by not learning from the mistake – but we are also hurting others.

As the Lord says in the Bible, “The truth will set you free.” (Romans 13:1-13).

God also blesses us when we speak the truth. (Proverbs 12:22).

Read this and you will be blessed.

Donald E. Bishop


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What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

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