Reader wishes a happy

birthday to all Marines

During American history, U.S. Marines have been there, in every climate and place.

Men and women from big cities, middle American farms, beach towns, timber country, Western ranches and Native American reservations.

Marines come from all backgrounds and professions: Student, teacher, laborer, banker, high school football star, All-American wrestler, police officer, poet, illustrator, musician, farmer, engineer, cook, attorney and truck driver.

They are looking for a higher calling, one that would make them reach deep inside themselves like never before. They seek mental and physical challenge that only a few and proud can endure.

Some will make the ultimate sacrifice for God, country and fellow Marines.

Marines from every ethnic group train, work and fight together, a lean, mean, green, amphibious fighting machine dedicated to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic.

They’re referred to as leathernecks, devil dogs, and jarheads.

They answer the warrior’s call in locales like Nassau, Derna, Tripoli, Chapultepec, Belleau Wood, Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Iwo Jima, Inchon, Chosin, Hue, Grenada, Kuwait City, Baghdad, Fallujah, Kandahar and Marjah.

They stand watch on U.S. military ships and at U.S. embassies.

They undertake peacekeeping missions in Beirut and Kosovo.

They respond to humanitarian needs in Haiti and Indonesia.

Shortly after he became commandant of the Marine Corps, General David Berger stated, “We are an elite force, we can’t afford mediocrity.”

On Nov. 10, Marines celebrate 244 years of honor, courage and commitment to keep America great.

Happy Birthday Marines.

Frank Klonoski, St. Simons Island, Ga.


Jacksonville is not as sad as

portrayed by Jags owner

As a student of Jacksonville history, I was concerned about Shad Khan's statements regarding the absence of Downtown development over the past 50 years.

Sadly Khan does not know about "the billion dollar decade" during Mayor Jake Godbold's tenure when the Prime Osborn Convention Center, The Jacksonville Landing (initially a very popular destination), Florida Theatre, Metropolitan Park and substantial private construction characterized the 1980s.

A decade later, the 12 years of the Austin-Delaney administrations transformed the sports district with a new arena, ballpark and football stadium,

The old Gator Bowl was rebuilt to host what became Khan's own Jacksonville Jaguars.

Further, near Hemming Park, a new federal courthouse, renovated City Hall, Museum of Contemporary Art and a new Main Library rejuvenated the center of Downtown.

Probably what Khan has seen is the absence of development under the past two mayoral administrations since he has come to town.

We know the Great Recession was partly to blame for this condition, and we hope that Lot J will succeed in helping to revitalize our Downtown.

James B. Crooks, professor emeritus of history, University of North Florida