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Opinion Letters

Robert Burns is credited with saving the folk music of Scotland. He was born just a few years after England conquered Scotland in 1746, intent upon destroying the clan system. Edicts of Proscription were issued forbidding the remaining Scottish people from wearing tartan and speaking Gaelic upon removal or threat of death. Scottish leaders and their families were hunted down. The lucky ones escaped, some to America. Not many decades passed before the old language, except in the darkest dell of Scotland, was lost.

Robert Burns was a poor farmer in Ayreshire, Scotland, but an accomplished poet. He began to compose a collection of poems about familiar country characters and legends. To make the subjects more human, he wrote in the Old Scots dialect that was used in story telling. He set many of these to old pub ballads. He performed this repertoire in meeting halls and salons around Scotland, attracted mentors, and became famous. These songs and poems might not have become world famous if England had not been the world power in the 19th century. As their armies moved, Burns songs and poems went with them. Although many artists and writers have been honored, Robert Burns is the only one who has an annual celebration named for him. Robert Burns Night highlighting his poems and songs are still bringing people together around the world. He did not live long to do it. He died at 35.

Merrilee Bordeaux President, Friends of the Scottish Tartans Museum

I actually like reading Mr. Bob Wilson’s weekly letters to the editor. With their illogical rants, convoluted logic, and fanciful view of history, it reminds me why I have never voted Republican.

R. Michael Jones — Sylva, N.C.

When you think of cancer what do you think of? Do you think how painful it can be? Do you think about the sorrow the patient and family go through? Do you think of the grief it causes? I can tell you I do know how it feels how it hurts and what it can do to a family.

In the past nine months our family has known this pain. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2013 then my dad with lymphoma cancer August 2014. As their daughter I never in my life would have thought something like this would happen to them. We have walked and continue to walk a journey in this life. The feelings you feel the fear and faith all come to your mind as you travel this road. I treasure every day I have with my parents – the good days and even the hardest of days. I view life as a precious, priceless gift from God; your health is a gift from God. He cares about everyone, even the birds in the sky belong to him. There is nothing better in this life to know Jesus as your savior to feel him walk with you in such pain as cancer to watch a loved one suffer. I know he has and continues to be with all of us as a family. I also can tell you in many ways my life as I once viewed it is forever changed. My heart truly has a burden for those who have or are suffering with cancer.


As a returning veteran and a local born and raised in this community, I am very disappointed in what myself and other veterans face when it is coming to getting hired in our communities. Especially those like myself that are also currently serving in the North Carolina National Guard. What fellow veterans and myself have observed is that people will be quick to thank you for your service; however when it comes to job hiring, our service and sacrifices don't make a difference (let alone if you have a college degree).

I can't speak for all the younger veterans, but I would prefer not having to move from this lovely county that I was born and raised in, but in order to provide for my family I will have to eventually move where my skills and experience are better appreciated by the private sector and local government. Veterans have experience that you can't find in just a recent college graduate or someone that has only experienced this area's environment.


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