Readers write: Ukraine coverage where grace matters

Letters to the editor for the Sept. 12 & 19, 2022 weekly magazine. Readers consider the importance of grace, climate realism, and train travel. 

Grace amid war

It’s very hard to put into words how I feel after reading “Ukrainians find the courage to heal” from the Sept. 5 issue. But I must try – because this article affected me so deeply. 

War is hell on earth, and focusing on the individual impact brought this war right to the doorstep. I felt sadness for the loss and then nourished by the strength of spirit of the families. That is what the writer brings out – illuminates, actually – in each family and situation. 

The piece reveals the undiminished grace that is lived so beautifully and individually. At the end of the article: instant tears. 

Grace knows no boundaries – I felt graced by this piece.

Christine Raymond
New London, New Hampshire

The little EV that couldn’t 

The Aug. 16 article in the Monitor Daily “Climate bill offers boost to EVs. Why short-term sales may slump.” covers a lot of interesting ground on electric vehicles. 

My comment is about our rural U.S. Postal Service, which switched from using the postal worker’s personal vehicle to a Postal Service all-electric vehicle last year. Since our rural roads are not paved, the very nice electric vehicle is no longer in service now as it could not tolerate the gravel roads in our area. The Postal Service employee is now back to driving his personal vehicle. I believe the electric vehicles are used for in-town mail deliveries, where the roads are paved. 

Not all the areas in this country can sustain electric vehicles, and we will still need to use some fossil fuel vehicles in order to keep the country moving along. As retired seniors, we could not afford the price tag of an electric truck, which I’ve seen at $80,000. We do like, however, the one truck that uses E85 fuel. It is very efficient. 

I really think that fossil fuels will still be around even as we progress to more electric vehicles, but will be more efficient as well. “Necessity is the mother of invention.” And improvements will be made even in the use of fossil fuels.

Sue Carol Helten
Douglass, Kansas

A well-kept secret gets out

I am never quite sure if I should be glad or sad when I read an article that has been written about something I very much enjoy. There is that moment of thinking, “It’s about time people have finally caught on,” versus thinking, “I don’t want more people finding out how great this is!”

The Sept. 5 article “All aboard: Why rail travel is making a comeback” is one of those tricky articles for me. Currently age 64 and a lifelong rider of the rails, including multiple trips from Washington, D.C., to Washington state, I have long preferred trains as a way to travel whenever possible. 

I find air travel completely annoying and have managed to totally avoid it for over 20 years. Settling myself into my own cocoon of space on the train where I can move at an easy pace, read, and have conversations with other people who like to travel slowly and enjoy their journey ... arriving at my destination feeling as if I have already been vacationing along the way. Bliss! 

Did you know you can finish an entire puzzle on a cross-country trip, crochet bags of hats to give away, or read six months’ worth of magazines?

Trains are busier right now, but bravo to Amtrak for keeping up! I’ve known a good thing for a long time, so I am glad more people are finding the joys of riding the rails.

Dawn Howe
Pollocksville, North Carolina

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