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City does respect American Legion
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Dear editor: I read with interest the letter of Mr. Bill Helms in Wednesday’s edition regarding the American Legion. I’d like to clarify the issue.
Planning for the Veterans Day ceremony began in early October. I called Mr. Helms on Oct. 18, 2010, and left him a message on his voice machine requesting a speaker. I received no return call and was not able to contact him. I called the American Legion in Hinesville and asked if they could provide a speaker, but they could not. At that point, still not having heard from Mr. Helms, I finalized the speakers for the ceremony and moved on.
I did send Mr. Helms a personal invitation to attend the ceremony, as well as an invitation to American Legion Post 27 inviting all of their members. In addition, I invited four other local American Legion Posts to the ceremony.
Any insinuation that the city of Richmond Hill has slighted the American Legion Post 27 could not be further from the truth. A valiant effort was made to get a speaker from their organization. Many employees who work for the city are veterans. There are several employees, including myself, who are retired military. During a 20-year Air Force career, I served in Somalia, Desert Storm and Sarajevo, among others, and understand and will always support the mission of the American Legion.
I have high respect for the American Legion, and any suggestion that I, or the city government do not is not factual and is insulting. Mr. Helms certainly has the right to write the newspaper. However, had he returned my call, Mr. Helms could have expressed his displeasure prior to sending an inflammatory and incorrect letter to the editor. The matter could have been easily resolved at that point.
Steve Scholar
Director, Planning and Zoning
Richmond Hill
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