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George H.W. Bush's country no longer values collective sacrifice and service

George H.W. Bush's country no longer values collective sacrifice and service
A joint services military honor guard carries the flag-draped casket of former President George H.W. Bush at Ellington Field in Houston for a ride on Air Force One to Washington on Monday. (Getty Images)

To the editor: Americans can be defined not by age or income but by how much sacrifice they have made in their lives. (“George H.W. Bush taught American politics an unfortunate lesson — restraint is for losers,” Opinion, Dec. 1)

Those of us who lived through World War II, the Korean and Vietnam wars and the existence of the Soviet Union know how devastating and frightening those times were for the average American. Sacrifices were made not only by those who were drafted into war and failed to come home alive, but also by people on the home front during those frightening times.

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Compare that with where we are now. We have a population that has little understanding of what it means to make sacrifices for the good of the country. Even voting has become a practice that so many Americans feel is too hard to do. It is no surprise, then, that we have a president who snubs hard-fought allies such as Germany and the rest of Europe.

The passing of former President George H.W. Bush brings all this into focus. He was the last of our presidents to have spent much of his life serving our country prior to election, unlike what we have now.

David Novis, Santa Barbara

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To the editor: Thanks to Doyle McManus for his beautiful op-ed article about Bush. As a lifelong Democrat who is now in ideological alignment with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), I appreciate being reminded of what a true patriot and contemplative leader Bush was.

He sought to create a kinder and gentler America, and he wisely practiced active patience and smart diplomacy, knowing the long-term benefits would help us all.

Jerry Beckerman, Ventura

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