News From Terre Haute, Indiana

January 10, 2013

READERS’ FORUM: Jan. 10, 2013

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New impetus for memorial plaque

As the new year began, dozens of people gathered in the cold and snow at First and Chestnut streets to recall the horror that greeted the community 50 years earlier.

It was Jan. 2, 1963, the first workday after the long New Year’s holiday, and meat cutters and other workers were starting their day at the Home Packing Co. plant. It was to be the final day for the 16 men who died and the hundreds of others whose livelihood was suddenly in doubt. Early that morning, something went horribly wrong and the front part of the building collapsed as the result of an explosion.

For several years, Richard Maher, who had worked at the plant before the disaster, has been proposing a monument or memorial plaque at the site. The gathering on Jan. 2 has given that labor impetus.

If people in the community, from the victims’ families and the survivors and their families to others interested in the history of Terre Haute, wish to donate, a fund has been set up to support it: Home Packing Monument Fund; Wabash Valley Community Foundation; 2901 Ohio Boulevard, Suite 153; Terre Haute 47803-2239.

— Carl Bender

Terre Haute

Sad departure for floral shop

To our loyal customers, friends and family:

It is with deep regret and sadness that the Miller Floral Family and its staff has to inform you that we will be closing our business doors, located at 3425 S. Seventh St. in Terre Haute on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013.

The Weber/Miller family has been serving the Wabash Valley floral needs since 1911 and with five generations of family. Due to the downturned economy of the past few years, and a combination of unfortunate circumstances, it does not allow us to remain in business and operate efficiently enough to provide you with the customer service and top quality product that has been known with the Miller Floral name.

During these few weeks until the closing, all remaining product will be available for purchase for 50 to 75 percent off the marked prices (delivered product not included in the sale). Please stop by during our business hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, closed Sundays, and take advantage of the deep discounts.

It was an honor and a pleasure serving you throughout the years. The Miller Family sincerely thanks you all for your friendship and loyalty. God bless you all.

— Dale M. Miller

Miller Floral Co. Inc.

Terre Haute

Let gun owners protect schools

In a recent Tribune-Star, there was a letter from Mike Frye of Brazil. I would like to respond to his letter that stated no additional gun laws are necessary and that employees at each school should be required to learn how to use guns so they can protect the students in their school.

That’s just what we need, more guns being brought into a situation where students would run the risk of being shot by an employee. Since when is it the responsibility of a teacher to protect his/her students with guns? It isn’t, but I do have a suggestion for Mike that should make him and his fellow gun owners happy.

Why not organize the gun owners into security teams that would volunteer to patrol the schools in our area? You would only have to give up approximately eight hours a week of your free time, take time away from your job and family, and be doing a public service without receiving any kind of hazardous duty pay. Of course you would be required to register your guns and have some type of insurance that would cover your accidentally shooting a student or school employee.

You could have assault weapons and 30 bullet clips. You could even buy additional guns without having to prove you knew how to handle them. Yes, I think this is a solution we all could live with. Our schools would be secure (?), no additional taxes would be needed, gun owners would be free to do as they want without having any pesky laws to abide by and the mentally ill people who take guns from their family with the intent of killing others would be just too terrified at the thought of being met with armed vigilantes to consider any such action.

In fact, Mike, if you want to start organizing this group, I would be happy to provide coffee and cookies for the first meeting. Isn’t this the ideal solution for gun owners? Just think, our teachers could get back to teaching our children and not be required to be an armed guard. No additional gun laws? I think a national registration of each and every gun sold in the U.S. is needed. The loopholes of gun shows and Internet purchasing must be stopped.

I am not suggesting you gun owners give up your precious trophies of independence and protection from an unjust government, I am suggesting you take responsibility for the ownership. Freedom comes only with responsibility.

Will this stop the black market for guns? No. Will this stop criminals from getting guns? No. What it will do is make this nation safer for all of the law-abiding citizens and leave protection to those qualified to do it such as the police and soldiers. I await your reply with a date for your first meeting so I can start baking cookies.

— Shirley A. Thomas

Brazil