Tahlequah Daily Press


September 6, 2013

Commemoration: We can’t afford to forget 9/11

TAHLEQUAH — In the 1981 cult classic “Excaliber,” a memorable scene has the Knights of the Round Table gathered after a decisive victory in battle. Merlin urges them to remember their conquest and to savor it, “For it is the doom of men that they forget.”

This applies even more aptly in the wake of shared tragedy – and that’s why it’s so important that Americans continue to remember 9/11. What other day can be called to mind by three numerals divided by a backslash?

9/11 hardly needs a description, but for those too young to have its scenes implanted on their minds, it was the day terrorists hijacked two airliners and crashed them into the World Trade Center in New York City. Even today, the exact number of those who perished is argued, but it’s safe to say it approached 3,000.

More than 400 of the victims were firefighters, police officers and emergency rescue workers who willingly sacrificed themselves to save the lives of others. These men and women, and their peers who were lucky enough to get out alive, are heroes in the purest sense.

Tahlequah is fortunate enough to be home to one of those valiant FDNY EMTs who was at Ground Zero. The Press has interviewed him a few times and reported on his incredible story, and so have other media outlets. His name is Ralph Winburn, and he will be speaking when the Cherokee County Veterans Council holds its annual commemorative ceremony in the Armory Municipal Center’s Veterans Auditorium, 101 N. Water Ave.

Ralph is expected to take the podium at 11 a.m., and if you haven’t heard him speak, we encourage you to do so. Ralph is not an “idol” – he’s no professional football player, movie star or rock musician. Rather, he is a humble man, the epitome of courage – the kind of person we should teach our children to emulate.

We’ve been asked before why the Veterans Council would pay solemn tribute each year to those who died in the line of duty on 9/11. The answer is a simple one: While many of the heroes of that fateful day were not “military” veterans, they put their lives on the line each and every day for people they’ve never met, in service to community and country. Few understand that commitment as well as U.S. veterans.

We’ll get another chance to honor our veterans come November, but in the meantime, let’s help them salute the memory of another group of luminaries who share so much in common with them. While we do that, let’s ponder the lessons of 9/11.

Americans should never take our lifestyles and our values for granted. Okies perhaps know this better than anyone, having come through the nightmare of the Murrah Federal Building bombing in OKC on April 19, 1995. We should grab any opportunity to cherish what we have, and reaffirm our obligation to our fellow citizens. We cannot afford to forget.

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    April 18, 2014

  • Community cleanups a good way to ensure our collective success

    This is our community – and it’s no better than what we make it. Let’s make it look great.

    April 16, 2014

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    Washington’s crusade against guns was dealt a severe blow on Wednesday. No, it wasn’t the Supreme Court curtailment of the Second Amendment right of all Americans to own firearms. It wasn’t an executive order handed down by the administration. It was the brutal assault by a high school student in Pennsylvania against his fellow students – with a knife.

    April 14, 2014

  • People with faulty zippers should be booted from office

    We may forgive, but we shouldn’t forget, because there’s serious work to do in Washington. That work will never be accomplished as long as flawed zippers - literally or figurately – are a pervasive problem.

    April 11, 2014

  • Do your part to fight animal and child abuse

    It’s hard to change the habits of an abuser, especially when mitigating factors – such as alcohol or drugs – are involved. And these patterns tend to repeat themselves in successive generations. But all of us can take one small step to help eradicate this epidemic, and that is to report it when we see it.

    April 9, 2014

  • NSA head lies to Congress, and seems to get away with it

    Is there an obvious pattern of criminality within these governmental agencies? If so, why isn’t the Judicial Department investigating?

    April 7, 2014

  • Pass for rich kiddie rapist proves that justice isn’t blind

    Someone in Wilmington, Del., needs to keep an eye on Superior Court Judge Jan Jurden for the next few months, because she might improve her standard of living due to a sudden influx of cash.
    There’s no other way to explain why Jurden would have sentenced an ultra-wealthy heir to the du Pont fortune to probation for raping his 3-year-old daughter. It’s an outrageous miscarriage of justice that once again proves when it comes to the U.S. justice system, the elite get a pass almost every time.

    April 4, 2014

  • Maybe it’s not $3.2B, but state should still account for tribal cash

    In an editorial published last week, the Daily Press said that through tribal compacts, the state of Oklahoma received about $3.2 billion in annual revenue, partly attributable to the 117 casinos (or 118, in some reports) run by 33 tribes in the state. The information we accessed for that piece was confusing, and had a typo or two, which may have led us to overstate – to a considerable degree – how much money the tribes actually give the state.

    April 2, 2014

  • Tribal compacts should mean state has money to perform its functions

    Oklahoma should be rolling in the dough. The statistics bear that out. Thirty-three American Indian tribes operate 117 casinos in this state. Thanks to “compacts,” these tribes have been sharing the wealth with the state of Oklahoma. And thanks to the casinos, that wealth is substantial.

    March 28, 2014

  • It’s time to turn in your candidate announcements

    If you are running for a political office for which Cherokee County voters can cast ballots, it’s time to turn in your announcement. We’ve already run a few, and expect several more. The primary elections are Tuesday, June 24, with the registration period to vote in this election closing Thursday, May 30.

    March 24, 2014


What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
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