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Letters to the Editor: A Public Forum
Hollywood vs. Reality
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 • Posted August 20, 2014

In the past week, we have heard of the tragic suicide of the incomparable Robin Williams and of the death of Hollywood legend Lauren Bacall. We think fondly of their triumphs on the silver screen, and the news of their passings fill traditional and social media, obscuring other world happenings.

Both of these Hollywood giants were greatly involved in the USO tours of their day. Both of them deserve our salutes for their service in honoring our troops. That being said, we need to remember that a staggering 22 veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars take their lives on any given day. The tragedy of this is no less than the loss of Mr. Williams or Ms. Bacall, but do we hear about this in the media? Do we feel closer to Mr. Williams and Ms. Bacall because we have seen their faces on our TV as opposed to the seemingly faceless veterans? We have heard about the last tweet that Mr. Williams made about his daughter’s birthday, but what about the last tweet of a veteran that took his life?

Let us not forget that Hamas is using children as human shields; they are bombing Israel from missile sites hidden not only in tunnels, but also in schools, hospitals and other humanitarian aid centers.

Let us also not forget that Christians are being murdered as you are reading this. In Northern Iraq, ISIS is targeting Christians for execution lest they convert to radical Islam. Torture, crucifixions, and beheadings of adults, as well as children, are occurring as we mourn Hollywood icons. The outrage at this genocide is obscured by special reports on ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox covering the Hollywood deaths.

While I pray that Mr. William’s passing will help bring attention to those that suffer depressive and addictive disorders, I also pray for perspective for our country. We should remember fondly the laughs and great cinematic moments that were provided by Mr. Williams and Ms. Bacall; however, we also need to look to what is happening in the world around us – it is a huge stage – a stage larger than any actor could imagine – a stage that is having a profound impact on our lives. God bless our troops, our veterans, and those suffering the genocidal plans of Hamas and ISIS.

Kati Vinson

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