I grew up in Chattanooga, graduating from Central High School in 1972. My parents are buried in the Chattanooga National Cemetery.

On Dec. 14, Wreaths Across Chattanooga, a time to place Christmas Wreaths on the graves in the Chattanooga National Cemetery, was held.

According to the stats I saw, only 13,000 wreaths were bought to cover the 49,000 graves that are in the cemetery, and of that 13,000, more than 1,000 were grave specific (as was the one for my parents).

I would like to encourage the residents of Chattanooga and the local businesses to step it up a bit for next year.

I saw that the goal for 2020 was 18,000 wreaths. Let's try for more. The wreaths are $15 each.

If it is "fitting and right to die for one's country," it is also fitting and right that we remember those who did.

There are many buried in this cemetary who have no family left to remember them.

Let us not let them be forgotten.

Frances Wilson, daughter of Col. Harold Wilson, McKinney, Texas


Secret Santa tree outfitter thanked

Considering all the negative news swirling even as Christmas fast approaches, I would like to, once again, step outside this turmoil and thank the giver of the lovely decorated tree on Hickory Valley Road at the RR tracks.

Such a small reminder of how simple it is to bring light to seemingly dark times.

Wishing this secret Santa a wonderful Christmas and a BIG thank you from so many!

Libby Simons, Harrison


Block grant comment period time ending

Tennesseans have until Dec. 27 to make a statement in the federal comment period about the Medicaid block grant proposal. Note that this is not the same as Medicaid expansion that 37 states and the District of Columbia have accepted to improve health care services to thousands in their communities.

This is an experiment with TennCare to save $2 billion, split it with the federal government and maybe, just maybe, in a year or so address Tennessee's multiple health care crises like the rising number of working, uninsured adults, the opioid crises, rural hospital closures and low ranking in numerous health conditions.

Go to to learn more and click on comment or call 615-255-0331 and ask for an advocate.

Sandra Rice, Sewanee


Just saying it's so doesn't make it true

Did you know the Russians, colluding with Donald Trump, sabotaged Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign? Neither did I. Even the "honest, balanced, trusted" leftists of the PBS News Hour say the Mueller Report reported no collusion and no change to the election's outcome.

Yet in the Dec. 7 Times Free Press, columnist John Stoehr says the Russians cheated Hillary and Trump is an illegitimate president — like it's common knowledge.

Meanwhile, Democrats are impeaching Trump for "high crimes and misdemeanors" while not citing any, defending the laws without naming any, and protecting the Constitution without quoting any. And because ambassadors witnessing to Congress were told so by Gordon Sondland, who "presumed" it was true, they accuse Trump of bribing or quid pro quoting (take your pick) the Ukrainians into investigating his political rival Hunter Biden.

And this is rich: Wyatt Massey wants TFP readers to cry for John Thomas McCecil, "remnant tears still lining his face," who with his husband had "hopes of starting a family" (how, pray tell, immaculate conception?) because the church was, according to McCecil, "hypocritical." Yet it fired him because he espoused sin rather than Jesus, ending his being hypocritical.

Save your tears for cognitive dissonance sufferers.

Dr. Brian Hale, Red Bank


Close private detention centers

In November, it was revealed the Trump administration has detained nearly 70,000 children in immigration custody over the past year, reaching an unprecedented level for the United States.

Upon close examination, it becomes evident the Trump administration has utilized loopholes to promote its "zero tolerance" immigration policy, quietly separating children from their parents. Unfortunately, separation is only a component of the Trump administration's cruelty toward migrant children.

In immigration centers across the country, the Trump administration continues to house migrant children and their families in detention centers, where they are exposed to inhumane conditions.

Although the government announced last week it would not be renewing its contract with Homestead, a private detention center in which migrant children are being treated like prisoners, we must not stop pushing for policies that protect migrant children until all private detention centers are closed.

As constituents, we must continue to bring attention to this issue by introducing policies that address cruelty toward migrant children to our state representatives.

As Americans, it is our duty to demand an approach to immigration that reflects our values and to persistently promote recognition until this cruelty towards migrant children ends and families are reunited.

Elizabeth Riley


Trump impeachment really simple matter

Any president who knowingly, willfully and repeatedly defies duly authorized subpoenas from the House of Representatives, and instructed his subordinates to do the same, has violated both the Constitution of the United States and his sworn duty to protect and defend it.

He should be impeached and removed from office.

It doesn't get any simpler than that.

Mark H. Holden, Ooltewah


Blind, Hall had to answer for crime

About a recent letter about the execution of Lee Hall: Sir, I respect your right to your opinion on your objection to the execution of a "blind" man.

But sir, the absolute destruction of Staci Crozier's family for the last three decades is way too harsh to describe. Please, sir, go back and look at the pictures of the car he threw gasoline into and then imagine a young beautiful woman inside that car — and the 36 hours she lived afterward, then imagine her being conscious and knowing her death was imminent. I hope our Lord forgave Lee before his execution, but he had to answer for his actions, "blind" or not.

Yes sir, I am a friend of that family, so I realize I am prejudiced against him, but I believe in an eye for an eye. I think the electric chair was a way too humane punishment for Mr. Hall.

Debbie Pataky, Lookout Mountain, Georgia


In the South, just say, 'Hey, ya'll'

Merriam-Webster's word of the year is "they." Meaning "as relating to a person whose gender identity is nonbinary."

Nonbinary meaning "refers to any gender that is not exclusively male or female."

Living in the South, it is simple and easy for us. We just say, "Hey ya'll."

I wish the word of the year was kindness, meaning being friendly, generous, considerate, treating people with kindness and respect.

Kindness vs they. I will take kindness any day.

Ruth Cote


Mass shootings on 'naughty' list

Common-sense gun laws will do for starters in helping to make America great again. But in the meantime, we may as well wrap up the entire United States in yellow crime scene tape, as the epidemic of mass shootings keeps spreading.

This is not what Santa had in mind for Christmas.

JoAnn Lee Frank