Letter: Windstorm heroes in Woodlea

Windstorm heroes

The recent windstorm powerfully reminded me that there are a lot of Central Alberta folks who step up to help in an emergency. Nearly 20 people came to assist me when a huge maple tree was uprooted, fell on the garage and then fell on a crab apple, which for 18 years had been the grandkids “swing tree”. The help came from neighbours, friends and relatives. Fifteen minutes after the tree fell, our neighbour phoned and headed over with his saw. In the first hour, there were three of us on the garage roof with chain saws, one person I had never met. What wonderful help we had over the next 48 hours. The neighbour with the 28-inch saw and lumbering experience; the friend who hauled three pickup loads of wood; our daughter and two grandsons who piled branches for hours; the unknown persons who spent time sawing the smaller branches, piling wood and taking wood away; the couple who took a block to make a coffee table; the fellow who took another block for axe throwing competition. Our son who brought a large trailer and directed us to the men and equipment to remove the huge stump.

It is easy to be negative about the values and behaviour of today’s society, but our experience was a powerful reminder that there are many who care and believe in “loving their neighbor”!

Thank you to all who do and did.

Stuart Fraser, retired senior in Woodlea district, Red Deer

Khadr tragedy

Letter writer Tim Lasuita, like many other Canadians, is appalled that Omar Khadr has been given a reported $10.5 million payment and an apology. Lasuita defends his position by virtue of good parenting as well as fears that Khadr’s lawyer might be affiliated with the Liberals. His reasoning troubles me.

Lasuita wants Canada, as if it were a parent, to punish a wayward child. Canada as Khadr’s parent? Doesn’t Lasuita ignore the facts that Khadr’s actual parent brought him into the fight, putting him in a position where he would die at the hands supporters, or he would be killed by the U.S. invaders, or miraculously he might live? As the bible commands, Khadr honored his father, obeying him. He fought, was shot and was subsequently held in prison. Might Lasuita, as a parent of a wayward child, not have protested the “slight” of a long incarceration in Guantanamo Bay prison?

Isn’t it material, that Stephen Harper awarded Maher Arar $10 million and an apology, both backed by a unanimous vote in the House of Commons? How about other Canadians wrongfully jailed who received similar settlements? Some of them even wrongfully confessed to the crime they were accused of.

Finally, being a Liberal or Liberal sympathizer is not treasonous, or contemptuous dismissal. If a child turns away from their parent’s political preferences, the child is not immoral or disowned. More likely the child is striving for independence. It’s a good thing, Dad, but rest assured that it may not be forever. That brings me my final observation, namely that the Khadr payment and apology is mired in politics. With politics, Khadr is simply an enemy terrorist receiving an unjust reward. Without politics, Khadr is but a wronged child soldier. Either way, it’s tragic.

Dale Boddy, Red Deer

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