Letters to the Editor

Readers write about American unity and the war, an international driving permit, England's new motto, and cursive writing in schools.

Preserve American unity: Protest the Iraq war

Regarding your Nov. 19 editorial, "Thanksgiving at a time of war": President Lincoln used Thanksgiving during the Civil War to unify the North and South.

President Bush will use this Thanksgiving to try and get the US to support his efforts to transform our nation into an empire by asking us to stand behind our soldiers "who defend liberty ... [and] advance the cause of freedom."

This coming Thanksgiving, I hope Americans preserve the unity of our nation by standing between the president and our brave military and protesting the war in Iraq.

Helen Ann Tackett
Fullerton, Calif.

International driving permit required

Regarding the Nov. 19 article, "Immigration issue could make or break presidential candidates": A US driver's license is a form of identification that goes beyond mere driving privileges.

For instance, in many states, applicants for voter registration must provide a valid driver's license. Giving noncitizens a driver's license might make it possible for illegal immigrants to vote.

The problem with granting noncitizens US driver's licenses can be solved by requiring an international driving permit (IDP). After all, many countries that do not recognize a US driver's license do accept an IDP.

One is amazed at the problem-solving abilities of those politicians who aspire to be our leaders but who cannot provide simple solutions to simple problems.

Moorad Alexanian
Wilmington, N.C.

Let England chose a new motto

In response to the Nov. 16 article, " 'Once great' Britain searches for a national motto": I am of English and Scottish descent, living in the US. England has persevered over many trials and obstacles, and it still remains. If you count its inception, it has survived almost 1,000 years. Few countries or empires could make that claim. We here in the US have fought the English twice and won, yet they are our closest allies. If the English want a national motto, then let them choose one. Those who ridicule this are not patriotic to their country. Instead, they are being protected by the very government they are mocking.

My motto for England is this: "Perseverance above all else, save Honor."

William Davidson
Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Students no longer practice cursive?

The Nov. 14 article, "Is this the end of cursive writing?" reminded me of elementary school. I received The Good Writers Club Certificate of Honorable Mention recognizing "fine achievement in the study of handwriting." As an education major, I continued to practice, completing penmanship assignments on sentence strips with nib pens dipped in India ink.

Later, I earned The Palmer Method of Handwriting Teacher's Certificate. I never used bunny puppets to enliven 20-minute handwriting lessons, and I was required to give grades. Pupils learned to hold their pencils correctly (using just the right pressure when they wrote) and also practiced the size, slant, and formation of the letters as well as the spacing in between. My fifth-graders practiced a lot, because I required them to use cursive in all their assignments.

Apparently, elementary teachers today have not had the extensive preparation I received to teach handwriting. Today, many students are not ever required to use cursive. More important, of course, is knowing the correct format to write letters and address envelopes.

Jayne I. Hanlin
St. Louis

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number. Any letter accepted may appear in print or on our website, www.csmonitor.com. Mail letters to Readers Write and Opinion pieces to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115. E-mail letters to Letters and Opinion pieces to OpEd.

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