A peaceful protest and thoughtfulness


I happened to see a friend’s copy of the June 6 edition of The Newton Kansan this past weekend. I was glad to see coverage of the march protesting police brutality and racism on the front page. The violence and looting that have also been occurring across our country are deplorable, but the protest about what happened to George Floyd and what has happened to other people of color are essential to us all. This injustice has been ongoing from the founding of this country, and it. is. wrong. wherever and whenever it happens. And it’s not just those cities out there. Our community also needs to deal with this. I know of a professional person of color in our community who has experienced multiple episodes of being stopped by police and of other aggression. We must stand up for each other and insist that this stop.


I was impressed to read of the respectful and supportive response of the Newton Police Department. May that response become the norm!


I was also grateful to read the editorial on white privilege. I appreciate the position you have taken, and the leadership you are exhibiting in acknowledging the reality of white privilege and our need as whites (I am one of those with such privilege) to recognize it and to find ways to respond with care.


— Bev Wiebe, Hesston


Thanks for placing flags


Every year we choose to be the project directors of getting American flags placed on the more than 1,800 graves of fallen veterans who are buried in Greenwood Cemetery. Teresa Hill Sauerwein does the same thing at the St. Mary's Cemetery and David Mitchell does it at Restlawn.


We all feel it is a very satisfying endeavor, and one that can only be accomplished with the help and giving of time by many people. This letter is to make public who these people are and to let them know how much they are appreciated. It wouldn't be possible without them.


The ladies at the courthouse always make sure that we have enough flags and flag holders that go on the graves of those veterans who were buried during the past year. Colt Cooper, his crew at the cemetery, and all the county and city of Newton workers who prepare the cemeteries for the Memorial Day weekend are always very helpful and they do a terrific job.


Early Saturday morning, nearly 50 Scouts, boys and girls, arrive. During the next couple of hours they spread out and cover the entire cemetery placing the flags on all the graves of veterans. The Scouts and their leaders are an awesome bunch and a pleasure to watch work. Our local American Legion provides fresh baked doughnuts and cold drinks for them while they work.


When the day is over, the whole cemetery is a beautiful sight — all three of them are. This year both the virus and the heavy rains threatened the whole project, but everyone went about their business as usual and everything went well.


We all do this each year for one reason. It is to honor in a small way, all those veterans who we hope will be remembered and appreciated for their service to our country. A big thanks to the American Legion members and all the others who made it all possible. We can all be proud of the number of veterans that we have —living and passed. If you have a loved one who is buried in any of the three cemeteries, and no flag or flag holder was placed on their grave, please let us know by calling the American Legion at 283-2233 after 4 p.m. and give them the information. We will take care of the omission immediately.


— Becky and Gordon Stineman