An open letter to Supt. Weninger:

I am returning your fee for me ghostwriting your Memorial Day speech at
OPRF High School. It’s not that ghostwriting is wrong. Ted Sorenson ghostwrote JFK’s Profiles in Courage, and Kennedy’s inaugural speech. Ted simply expressed Jack’s intent when JFK was busy, and Jack was not a wordsmith himself.

OK, I messed up by having you attribute that John McCain story to your own brother. But who doesn’t make a mistake now and then? What about those other handcrafted, original gems for Memorial Day that I gave you that you left out? Sorenson would eat his heart out.

I’m talking about:

We have only but one life to give for our country

Give me liberty or give me death

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that life, liberty, … etc.

That from these honored dead, we take an increased measure of devotion, that government of … etc.

… To bind up the nation’s wounds … A new birth in freedom …

To make the world safe for democracy

The only thing we have to fear is fear is itself

We shall fight them on the beaches … we shall never surrender!

… Only blood, sweat, tears, and toil

Never have so many owed so much to so few

Ask not what your country can do for you …

O.K., I agree you should have left out that one about “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall,” since it was a little too specific in its context. I may have borrowed that one, in any case. I don’t recall. Joe Biden has had the same problem, and he’s a senator who’s run for President.

Nonetheless, this is last time I will be ghostwriting for you. Please don’t call again.

P.S.: Consult your History Department people. They’re pretty good, and they can run down quotes for you, and maybe keep you out of future trouble.

Kevin Peppard

It’s Wednesday Journal’s fault

Your attempt to make a “political something” out of nothing certainly doesn’t go un-noticed. Subtle turns of a phrase in your article like his “latest error” certainly show your “impartial” journalistic integrity. Dr. Weninger’s oversight to reference John McCain had no bearing on the “spirit” of the assembly and most certainly would have made front page “news rippin” over the perceived politics. Why not once try really telling the story. Maybe something like how Dr. Weninger tried to bring the spirit of a thoughtful and respectful Memorial Day assembly to our next generation. To at least, for a few minutes, cause them to reflect on how and why we have the freedoms we have and the price at which it comes-including even somewhat slanted “news” stories.

Rick McCall

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