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Letters to the editor

Tuesday, February 5, 2013 - 12:01 am

Gen. Wayne and political correctness

Some are confused by the Fort Wayne mayor’s apparently sincere desire to find a better place for his city’s famous statue of controversial Gen. “Mad” Anthony Wayne, sword in hand in, full battle gear on horseback.

Mayor Tom Henry, as socially sensitive and anti-gun a mayor as you will find in Indiana, surely knows Gen. Wayne’s history. Indeed, if the mayor had been in office in 1862, his administration might have viewed Wayne’s armed assault at Fallen Timbers as reprehensible if not prosecutable.

Some in City Hall might find laughable Wayne’s defense that the Native Americans there were, in fact, terrorists, in secret alliance with a foreign power, the British, and intent on killing every white man, woman or child they came across.

And others certainly would be horrified to learn that Mr. Wayne actually believed that the native-American culture, aside from specious claims it treated torture as recreation, had repeatedly rejected any concept of individual liberty or rule of law that would have made peaceful co-existence possible. These rationales, even the youngest mayoral staffer knows, must be deconstructed by root cause and dismissed. Historical and moral relativity must be applied.

Moreover, Wayne’s own words would convict him in the mayor’s eyes. “Charge the damned rascals with the bayonet,” is the only recorded order the general gave during the decisive battle.

Damned rascals? Let’s just say that’s not going to be on the plaque at the foot of Wayne’s statute, wherever it ends up. And bayonet? Well, at least it wasn’t a concealed weapon, a concern of Mayor Henry and others in his new group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

Indeed, some of us would have thought that the mayor, instead of fighting for an honorable place for Wayne, would be melting the general into plowshares — no, that couldn’t be right; the mayor might be a no-till environmentalist. Melting him, then, into windmill blades or perhaps electric-car batteries.

Political correctness by definition demands such consistency, especially in the treatment of our statuary.

Craig Ladwig

Cemetery story lacked useful information

Kevin Leininger’s article about Catholic Cemetery’s plans to build a funeral home and crematory is a press release and lacks journalistic curiosity.

Probably nobody doubts that Catholic Cemetery would provide good funeral and cremation services, but the only stated reason for the facility, and the point of the article, has to do with funeral costs. The spokesman for the cemetery asserts that funeral costs in Fort Wayne are much higher than in South Bend and Indianapolis but that costs at the new funeral home would be lower.

What is the source of the asserted costs? Does it include all funeral homes in the areas cited? Are similar funeral types matched so that the cost comparisons are realistic and fair? Will the new facility be for-profit or not-for-profit? How much lower will costs be at the new facility? How does the cost of burial at Catholic Cemetery compare to other cemeteries and might that point toward the relative costs at the new facility?

Leininger did not provide any useful information to the public regarding funeral costs.

Cephas Williamson