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Letters to the editor, October 6

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Denton Record-Chronicle Readers

No irrefutable interpretation

Ken Burns' 18-hour Vietnam epic attempts to explain a contentious war. The regret of two former Vietnam War protestors illuminates the current controversy about Confederate statues.

John Musgrave, a gravely wounded combat veteran, joined the anti-war protesters, but their celebrating the disgraceful exit, which abandoned thousands of loyal Vietnamese who had relied on American promises, angered him. He later sobbed his grief at the Vietnam Memorial.

Similarly, a formerly vindictive protestor regrets her rage toward the veterans, whom she self-righteously denounced as "baby killers."

Their passionate certitude softened over the decades. Although the war's diverse interpretations linger, its enduring significance lies in the courage of our troops, especially as individual survival replaced victory and as contempt greeted their return.

As we revise our understanding of Vietnam and recognize that consensus about its meaning will not occur in our lifetimes, could we imagine future ill-informed protestors hastily privileging only their interpretation and applying tribal "us versus them" indignation by removing or covering the Vietnam Memorial?

Our troops, now in their 60s and beyond, deserve our gratitude and respect for serving in a deteriorating war misled by self-serving politicians from both parties.

Similarly, we still argue about the conduct and consequences of the Civil War. Why can we not recognize that troops on each side fought for various motives and that no group today holds an irrefutable interpretation of that war? Our freedom of speech requires respecting, not removing, antithetical interpretations.

Lewis Toland,

Commitment to patient safety

Central Service professionals are being celebrated for their important role and commitment to patient safety during the annual International Central Service Week, Oct. 8-14. The International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management has served more than 27,000 Central Service professionals in the U.S. and abroad by providing educational and professional development opportunities for these professionals.

Central Service professionals are integral members of the health care team responsible for decontaminating, inspecting, assembling, disassembling, packaging and sterilizing reusable surgical instruments or devices in a health care facility that are essential for patient safety.

If you or someone you love has undergone a surgical procedure, a Central Service professional was directly responsible for the cleaning and sterilization of the instruments used throughout your operation.

Please join us in honoring these dedicated Central Service professionals by celebrating International Central Service Week.

Elandus Jemison,