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On our recent national holiday, President's Day, which president do we celebrate and study?

When our nation celebrates Martin Luther King Day, it is self-evident who and what we are learning about. In years past, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln had their own birthday events, and we had two days where we learned something of both men and their historical settings.

We as a nation are on a dangerous course of historical illiteracy. Can we name our first five presidents and what they stood for? Our history is our genealogy, who we are and what we believe.

Without a remembrance of these past gems of yesteryear and where we came from, we will not know where we are going. The only thing that separates one who burns or salutes Old Glory is beliefs.

We used to believe in America's greatness until we were taught otherwise. Thomas Jefferson, arguably our greatest "governing" president, today is looked at with derision and skepticism instead of respect and studious scholarship. Our young people need to know who's on Rushmore, not just Facebook. — Joel Marks, Medford

Pfc. Bradley Manning has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for exposing war crimes committed by U.S. troops and ethical violations by the U.S. Department of State. We commend and support this nomination, recognizing the invaluable contribution Pfc. Manning has made to world events. On Feb. 23, the U.S. military held an arraignment hearing for Pfc. Manning, facing numerous retaliatory charges. If convicted in this tribunal, Manning could face life in federal detention.

He is wrongfully imprisoned for meeting his military responsibilities, "... to defend the Constitution ... against all enemies foreign and domestic ... ." In this case, they were domestic.

We object in the strongest possible terms to this treatment of a national hero. Pfc. Manning should be released immediately and rewarded for his courage and service to his country. — Linda Smith, Correspondence Secretary, Rogue Valley Veterans For Peace Chapter 156

I write in support of Beth Heckert for district attorney.

Beth has been a deputy district attorney since 1988 and has been chief deputy district attorney since 2000.

She has an extensive and skillful record of prosecuting crimes for many years, including many Measure 11 and homicide cases.

Rob Patridge wishes to be our district attorney. He is a nice young man with a nice family.

Rob worked in the District Attorney's Office from 1995 to 1998, but has no experience prosecuting Measure 11 or homicide cases.

Expect Rob's political friends to spend a lot of money to try to get him elected. I recommend, however, that you vote for a professional with experience and not for a politician.

Vote for Beth Heckert for district attorney. — William A. Mansfield, Medford