Project Blue Light

This year has been dangerous and deadly for law enforcement officers across our nation. So far, 110 have died in the line of duty this year. Nearly one and a half times that number has committed suicide. Many officers have been seriously injured or suffered emotional damage as a result of what they have experienced.

Officers see the worst in people from victims to the suspects, young and old, male and female, of all races. They are the first line of defense for our homes, schools, places of worship and businesses. There are groups chanting that officers should be done away with, disassembled because of something that occurred years before any of us were born, fired because they served our country’s military and are guilty of hate-fueled war crimes and even that officers can no longer use deadly force to protect themselves and others against an attacker with an edged weapon. Officers are owed a show of thanks and support, not destructive rhetoric.

The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Fraternal Order of Police asks that you join us during the holiday season in Project Blue Light by placing a lighted, single blue-light candle in your window. The glowing candle is in honor of the many men and women who have given their lives in the line of duty, those who continue to serve and in honor of the law enforcement profession. These shining blue lights say “Thank you!”

Barry Westmoreland

Germanton

Westmoreland is the president of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Fraternal Order of Police. — the editor

Conserving what we love

Winston-Salem City Council Member D.D. Adams is completely justified in her indignation about how the city’s allocation to the Crossnore land deal was handled (“Nature in limbo,” Nov. 25). Regarding her concern for the needs of her constituents, I would like to suggest that, in this era of climate change, protecting open space in cities is not a luxury, it is an imperative.

Exposure to nature has such profound benefits for children’s learning and emotional well-being is that it should be a basic right for all children, especially those from low-resource communities. Children who learn to love local parks and creeks will value green space and will grow up ready to create a sustainable, equitable future. They will be prepared to shape their communities and get good jobs in a green economy.

The planned Crossnore trail can easily create environmental education opportunities that benefit Boston-Thurmond and the schools in the neighborhood. Signage and learning stations can help children and families learn about the plants, birds and other natural features around them.

In the words of the Senegalese forestry engineer Baba Dioum, “In the end, we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand and we will understand only what we are taught.” Environmental justice includes access to environmental education for all children, so that they can play a role in shaping the world that lies ahead of them.

Cornelia W. Barr

Winston-Salem

Barr is the board chair of the Gateway Nature Preserve in Winston-Salem. — the editor

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