To The Editor:

On June 12, my college student daughter and I had a reason to be in your beautiful town. We were coming from Blue Springs, Mo., and our destination was the Blue Mounds State Park campground. My daughter was meeting up with a group of students traveling across country to a geology field camp in the Tetons.



As we approached Luverne, we saw a storm approaching from the east. While we were eating at a local restaurant we found out there was a tornado in Sioux Falls and it was heading directly toward Luverne. The prospect of camping during a tornado was not on my list of wise things to do. I took my daughter to a gas station where we listened to the forecast over the radio. I asked the attendant if there was a place that I could wait out the storm. A lady in line behind me offered her house!



As one after another tornado formed to the east of Luverne, I spent the night in the safety of one of your own citizens! Shirley Connor played hostess to a pair of strangers with the graciousness of a true angel. There is evil in the world today, and certainly the media reports it. But there are still these wonderful good people out there. People who see a need and not think twice about offering help. We need to celebrate these people. That is why IÕm writing to you. I had to leave Shirley's house early the next morning, but I left with more than a good story to tell my students back home. I left with a feeling of gratitude and having been blessed by the unselfish goodness of another human being. Shirley Connor represented your lovely town, and her decency and kindness is what I will think about every time someone mentions Minnesota.



Mickey Ebert

Blue Springs, Mo.





To the Editor:

July 4th marks the 225th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. We have a great history to celebrate!



The signing, and the patriots' acts leading up to it, are legendary: from Samuel Adams and other Bostonians who dumped crates of tea into Massachusetts Bay in protest of 'taxation without representation' to Paul Revere, who rode horseback to warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock that British soldiers were coming to arrest themm to Hancock and 56 others who signed the Declaration of Independence at the risk of being executed.



John Adams, a signer of the Declaration and later President of the United States, wrote that their actions "ought to be celebrated by pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other... " Adams would be pleased that, just as the nation has expanded from the East Coast across the continent, the celebration has expanded to include all that he envisioned, and more.



Independence Day has been observed every year since 1777, when Americans celebrated the freedom and promise offered by the Declaration of Independence. Today, we can revel in the founders' acts, and we can rally in commitment to making America's future even greater through our own acts of good citizenship.



We have the privilege of being able to look back and celebrate our founders' heroic acts; I hope our actions today will give future generations even more to celebrate on Independence Days yet to come!



Mary Kiffmeyer

Secretary of State



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