Letters to the Editor

By NEMS Daily Journal

‘Flick’ Ash cites reasons for Oxford hospital site
I was instrumental in the early seventies helping get NMRC to locate in Oxford. As a member of the Mississippi House of Representatives, I lobbied aggressively for NMRC to locate in Oxford rather than Tupelo. I distinctly remember one of the main reasons that I pressed for Oxford was because the Oxford site would be close to the hospital. This was important for our residents and their families’ peace of mind knowing the Oxford hospital was always close. Our NMRC residents have special needs that cause minutes to matter.
Likewise, I was also influential in getting the State Veterans Home to locate one of the three facilities being built in Mississippi in Oxford. As Chairman of the State Veterans Affairs Board at that time, I was successful in convincing my board to locate the third home in Oxford. Our conviction was based largely on the Veterans Home being near the Oxford Hospital.
We acquired the land needed with assistance from Mayor Pat Lamar, the Board of Aldermen, and the Lafayette County Supervisors. We began construction in 1994, opening the State Veterans Home in Oxford in 1996. Our expectation was for the hospital to remain in close proximity to NMRC and the State Veterans Home.
However, I was greatly disturbed to read the article in the Feb. 17 edition of the Oxford Eagle, that the location on Highway 6 West, which is completely outside Oxford’s city limits, is being considered. This location is so remote to NMRC and the State Veterans Home, that it goes counter to the commitments made in the early 1970s (NMRC) and mid-1990s (Veterans Home).
There are other available sites inside Oxford city limits, which would better serve the community as a whole than the remote Highway 6 West location. While I am no longer serving in the House of Representatives or the State Veterans Affairs Board, my heart still reaches out for the health, safety and welfare of our residents at NMRC and the State Veterans Home. I will always hold the residents of these two institutions in highest regard, and so should Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation.
J.M. (Flick) Ash
Potts Camp

Forrest stepped in when the South needed a stabilizer
In rebuttal to Patsy Brumfield’s Feb. 17 column about Nathan Bedford Forrest car tags:
The southern states during 1861 to 1865 were invaded by a hostile northern force, led by men of terror and violence such as William T. Sherman, Ulysses S. Grant, A.J. Streight, and Constitution-destroyer Abraham Lincoln.
The 80,000 plus fathers and sons from Mississippi, the 100,000 plus from Tennessee and hundreds of thousands of fathers and sons from the other Confederate states shed their blood, lives and fortunes to defend their states and their new country. While today, some stand apologetically with one foot on their ancestors’ grave and the other on their state flag, and the beautiful Confederate battle flag and cry to the world, “Forgive me for being from where I’m from and the family that God blessed me with, I will do anything for your approval, disgrace my state, my ancestors, admonish those who are true to their heritage, their ancestors, and their God-given rights.”
At least three states looked to Nathan Bedford Forrest as their protector from the federals who came to steal, kill and destroy. The beginning of the Reconstruction period was martial law in the South, with Carpetbaggers and Scalawags (southern turncoats and apologists) in control of all public offices. Most southern states went bankrupt from theft and graft. Southern citizens were treated as criminals and farms, land and businesses were stolen by the occupying politicians and acting governments. Military-appointed governor Adelburt Ames in Mississippi and William G. Brownlow in Tennessee almost caused a renewed national civil war due to their terrorizing of the citizens. One of the most influential men in the South, Nathan Bedford Forrest, stepped into this void.
Forrest’s skillful handling of the men of the South and the unspoken threat of raising a new Confederate military machine kept a semblance of peace. The Forrest tag would be the most popular tag in years.
Harry W. Vinson
(ancestor of three Forrest cavalrymen)
New Albany

Dose of danger realism needed in Tupelo about vicious dogs
A recent submission to The Forum expressed concern that pit bulls are unfairly maligned as a breed while Rottweilers are seemingly never singled out. I agree: Pit bulls are not the only dog breed officially designated by the American Veterinary Medical Association, the CDC and the Humane Society of the United States as one of the “Top 10 Most Dangerous Dog Breeds.” But pit bulls do have the well-earned distinction of being No. 1 on their list, followed by Rottweilers, German shepherds, Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes. Of the pit bull breed these three authorities state that “they will lock their jaws onto the prey until it is dead.”
It is of no comfort to my family when owners of any dog designated as dangerous say, “But my dog is so affectionate, sweet, loving and protective of my family.” Some 25 years ago near the intersection of Bickerstaff and South Green streets in south Tupelo, there was a homeowner who kept a fully grown mountain lion, also known as a cougar or puma, as a pet. On most summer mornings you could drive by and see that lion, restrained by a chain, sunning itself on the roof of the house. Maybe this specific animal was a wonderful family companion. A document about exotic pets which I located online stated that mountain lions “can be very affectionate with their owners.” Oh, I feel so much better now.
Take any two owners of dangerous dog breeds and require them to swap their dogs for two weeks. Let’s see now who’s willing to send their children to play in a yard with an unknown adult pit bull or Rottweiler.
Something has got to change. Oh, how I hope that change is proactive and not reactive. If the laws and ordinances already on the books are not effectively enforced, regardless of the reasons and then backed up with significant fines and penalties, nothing will change and more lives will be torn apart or lost. How about it, Mr. Mayor, Chief Operations Officer, City Council and Chief of Police? Can I bring my mountain lion and move in next door to you? He is really affectionate and only slightly protective.
Wayne Whipple
Tupelo