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Inspiring trash pickup, summer camp activities

Letters to the editor for the Sept. 26, 2016 weekly magazine.

Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff
Former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis picks up trash on his two-mile walk to work, on June 22, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Inspiring trash pickup

When my Monitor arrived, the first thing I read was the wonderful Aug. 1 article on Michael Dukakis. I was so disappointed when I turned the page and there was no more – I didn’t want it to end! I loved the simplicity and yes, the dignity of his picking up litter on his way to work. What a fine example for us all. 

This also reminded me of an incident that meant a great deal to me. We were living in Brookline, Mass., on an eight-acre gated estate. Every night, I would take a walk and I would pick up various items that had been tossed aside. One night, I saw a tiny piece of paper. When I started to pick it up, the thought came that it was too tiny to bother with, but I stooped to get that little piece of paper. Imagine my surprise (and delight) when I saw it was a crumpled-up dollar bill that had been folded so that it was unrecognizable. Well, it took my breath away and showed me that no act is insignificant. 

So thank you for this splendid article. I trust it will inspire others as it has me. Many thanks for all your good work.

Margaret Wylie

Eastampton, N.J.

Summer camp activities

Regarding the Aug. 9 article “A window into Gaza’s future – through summer camps” (CSMonitor.com): Although the reporter was not allowed to enter a Hamas-run summer camp to see what was actually going on, she did elicit from one camper a highly revealing hint of those camps’ highly militarized nature. Other reports have noted that their summer fun activities have included weapons training with live ammunition, navigating simulated battlefield conditions, simulated kidnappings of Israelis, and other military skills. 

For these young charges, emphasis is on bombs instead of books, guns instead of games, and incitement to hatred instead of the instilling of good feelings. Those camps truly do offer an extremely bleak “window into Gaza’s future.”

Richard D. Wilkins

Syracuse, N.Y.

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