Letters provide the freedom for all to be heard


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For the past 45 years I have been writing letters to the editor on a variety of topics, and hopefully all were not just a glaring waste of trees.

I remember, however, what my old creative writing professor told me upon leaving his class for the last time: “No matter how wonderful you may think your writing is, remember that the next day it’s going to be used to wrap the garbage.”

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I think what is overlooked sometimes in writing letters to the editor is the opportunity our area newspapers give us to express our thoughts and opinions, even though we may lack the literary sophistication and elegance of a Hemingway or a Faulkner.

The Asbury Park Press, the Jackson Times, the Tri-Town News and in earlier times, the Lakewood Daily Times and the Ocean County Observer, all have over the years provided its readers with a chance to be heard.

When it comes to freedom of thought and freedom to write what you think, it is well we remember the words of the late journalist H.L. Mencken: “I know of no human right that is more valuable as the simple right to utter what seems (at the moment) to be the truth.  Take away this right, and none other is worth a hoot, nor indeed, can any other exist.”

Borden Applegate

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