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That was very kind, sir

DEAR EDITOR,

I was in Atchison on Friday, Jan. 31. I ate lunch at the Young Dragon Chinese Restaurant. A gentleman sat behind me. He paid for my lunch. I thanked him, and I sure will pass on a kind deed to someone else.

— LUCYLLE C. CANNON

Sabetha

Why I spoke out on gravestones

DEAR EDITOR,

In light of recent discussions I stumbled upon on social media, I felt compelled to offer my opinion on a particular issue.

I am a professional archaeologist and director of a National Historic Landmark archaeological site and museum. I am also an Atchison native, and was deeply disturbed by recent decisions to authorize the potential removal of grave markers from Oak Hill Cemetery. As an archaeologist, we serve as stewards of history; it is our responsibility to preserve our cultural heritage.

This duty, however, extends beyond my profession to every member in our community that believes in respecting the deceased, allowing them to rest in peace, and ensuring that their legacy is honored and remembered. By removing their identity, an identity defined in stone by those closest to them in life, we are erasing important aspects of our communities’ heritage and diminishing our local history.

Atchison prides itself on its past, and I am proud to always call it home. However, the recent decision to remove our historical monuments is not only an injustice to those that can no longer speak for themselves, but also a robbery of information to future scholars of history and genealogy, and a removal of a personalized sacred space for families to mourn.

The fact grave marker removal was considered as a feasible alternative to our shared duties as living descendants to protect the deceased and honor their memory is an embarrassment to our community. I hope a more amicable solution is reached before our history is erased.

— BRENDON P. ASHER

Portales, New Mexico

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