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VIP of Christmas lost in sea of secularism

One recent evening I went downtown to see all the holiday decorations. As I drove around, there were lots of bright beautiful lights, displays, Santas, wreaths, snowflakes and penguins (What do penguins have to do with Christmas?). Thousands upon thousands of dollars spent on lights. But wait. Someone was missing. Someone important.

So my quest to find him began in earnest. Up and down the streets I went. Main Street, Wayne Street, Calhoun, Washington, Harrison. Not a glimpse of this VIP. As with the three wise men, persistence was rewarded. Lo, on Berry Street, there he was, in front of the University of Saint Francis Performing Arts Center. Baby Jesus asleep in a manger. Finally, thank goodness!

I decided to resume my quest to see whether anyone else remembered this most important person, the center of the season, the reason we celebrate. Happily, I did find a crèche tucked in the corner window of the Indiana Hotel. Someone else (Dahm Bros.) cared enough to honor the true source of the season.

Fort Wayne, settled by Catholics, Lutherans and other Christians, the City of Churches, has lost its way and tainted its soul with secularism.


Five from Fort Wayne gave all at Pearl Harbor

Another commemoration of the Pearl Harbor attack has come and gone without a mention of Fort Wayne’s sacrifice on Dec. 7, 1941.

For the benefit of those who do not know, five servicemen from the Summit City died during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Aboard the battleship USS Oklahoma, Fort Wayne men who died were Seaman Raymond Boynton, Machinist’s Mate Arthur Glenn and Seaman Maurice Spangler. Aboard the battleship USS Arizona, Fort Wayne men who died were Gunner’s Mate Marshall Coffman and Seaman Harold Summers. None of the bodies of these sailors were ever recovered.

Dying amid the flaming chaos of the Pearl Harbor attack, these five men were just the first of many local residents to lose their lives during World War II. We should remember them all, but these sailors should retain a special place in our collective hearts whenever Pearl Harbor is remembered in Fort Wayne.

ALAN D. GAFF Fort Wayne

Outcomes should dictate health providers’ pay

A recent article concerning the Affordable Care Act and its support of the health insurance industry failed to mention why health care costs topped $2.7 trillion last year. Could that huge transfer of wealth be the reason that something constructive has to be done?

Medicare tells us that 20 percent of its covered patients return to their doctor within 30 days for the same ailment. Any other industry with that failure rate would be out of business in short order. A 2009 Institute of Medicine report estimates that 30 percent of all spending on health care is squandered in various ways. That’s $1,000 billion every 12 months.

Instead of fee for service, doctors and hospitals should be paid for good health outcomes. That is the only way to make health care affordable and efficient.

LARRY WHEELER Spencerville