War’s destruction cannot right perceived wrongs

As the war in Ukraine grinds on, voices here and there are raised in Russia’s defense. Much of that support centers on historical Russian presence or preference within segments of Ukraine; or theoretical Ukrainian criminality or fascist leanings. I don’t claim to be well versed in any of those particulars. But I do believe Russia is entirely wrong in making war on its much smaller neighbor for a more basic reason.

When I would go to work each day during the 40 years of my professional career, I did not expect to arrive home on any one of those days to find my family slaughtered. I didn’t expect to discover my neighborhood in ruins. My daily trips to the office occasionally handed me a surprise, but never the sight of my workplace blown to smithereens, or my standard route obliterated by bombs or rockets.

Some of my life ambitions may have taken a long time, changed direction, or fallen short. But they were never cut off by the mass destruction of my country’s infrastructure, population or national character.

Many of us who are American, Russian or Ukrainian hold to some form of Christian view of our eternal possibilities, and keep those beliefs firmly within our understanding of life. Yet, for most of us, we simply rely on having our families, our residences, our jobs, and our opportunity to live and breathe continued for yet another day. There are, for sure, historical injustices that any group of people will hold onto, perhaps longing for an eventual righting of wrongs. Yet few of us imagine that the use of deadly and destructive force will be the path toward a finely tuned justice.

It would be hard to find a nation that has never had a border dispute or a group of people that has never been mistreated. But invasions and wars simply cannot even the score. They always leave a jagged and treacherous edge to the past that cannot define a universally accepted outline of the future. Instead, we have to imagine that the wounded and slaughtered citizens of Ukraine, along with the dead and injured troops conscripted by Russia, would, on some level, just have preferred to love their families, go to their jobs and make simple plans for the days to come.

Promote peace; honor life.

Richard B. Hatch

Fort Wayne

Destructive Trump would doom nation

Donald Trump is a documented liar – more than 30,000 times while in office alone. But anytime someone says something negative about him, it’s a “hoax” or character assassination.

I don’t know how people can support him. This country is in danger if he is allowed to run for president and wins. I believe it will be this country’s last election.

Jerry Smith


Grand Canyon, residents deserve extra protections

As a (retired) Arizona middle school teacher with a deep love and respect for the Earth and her flora and fauna, the one true pleasure of the 180 or so days in the classroom each year was the one in mid- to late April when I could whisk students out to spend the day exploring a tiny slice of the Grand Canyon. The Colorado River created this wonder and still provides clean water to seven states, including 40 million people and 1.8 million acres of land used to grow crops and raise livestock.

It was my desire for them to understand the physical and scientific aspects of this wonder and, more importantly, the people of this area and how they survived and thrived in the millennia before us.

Growing up in Fort Wayne gave me and my siblings a unique perspective on what it meant to be a grandchild of the diaspora whose mother and siblings grew up in a place that welcomed foreigners and helped them get on their feet. When my grandmother arrived at 17 to be married to a man nearly 20 years her senior whom she did not know and who would not speak any of the languages she spoke (Armenian, Turkish and a little Greek), she was welcomed at a settlement home to learn the language and culture. One of the wonders that never failed to delight her was that fresh, clean water flowed without her having to walk a mile or more to carry water home.

Multinational mining corporations seek to extract nearby stores of uranium regardless of the impact to the canyon and the people who live in the region. This is only a small example of one of the consequences of “colonization” and its effect on Indigenous people. Stories of exploitation, illness and abandonment are not the exception in Indian country. They’re the norm.

I am calling on President Joe Biden to employ the Antiquities Act to establish the Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni Grand Canyon National Monument totaling 1.1 million acres to protect the cultural, archaeological and sacred sites of ancestral importance to Indigenous peoples and tribes. Any Hoosiers who have been fortunate enough to experience the Grand Canyon should join me in ensuring we protect all the people fortunate enough to live near or in the canyon.

Ann Escosa Griffin

Fort Wayne