The American-News welcomes letters of opinion from our readers.

The American-News welcomes letters of opinion from our readers. Letters regarding current local and national news items are encouraged. All letters are subject to editing for length and style. Letters containing potentially libelous or obscene statements will not be published. Letters must contain name, address and phone number for verification and in case of questions. E-mail letters to: Letters may also be mailed to:  Editor, Montevideo Publishing, P.O. Box 99, Montevideo, MN 56265

It’s about time!

I would like to commend President Trump on his courageous declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capitol! He kept his word/campaign promise, unlike past presidents. It is time to acknowledge the obvious, since the Jewish presence in its God-given land dates back thousands of years. Israel is one of America’s best allies, and the only Democracy in a war-torn Middle East. The Bible, God’s Word and ultimate document states in Gen. 12:3. “Bless Israel and be blessed...curse Israel and you will be cursed.”

  Especially in the Christmas season, our eyes turn toward Israel and remember that God gave his only begotten son to save mankind from sin and give eternal life to all who believe in him. Only when the Prince of Peace returns will the world finally have true peace. Shouldn’t that be everyone’s hope.

—Ron Garbe


People with disabilities

For those who think people with disabilities should be hidden away somewhere, I have news for you: this group is becoming more integrated in society every day, and we have many people to thank.

There are service provider centers, like Chippewa Enterprises, which assist people with disabilities with work, training and recreational options. Then there are employers – companies and organizations that give people a chance to prove themselves, whether working in the community or through a center-based option.  Our state organization recently recognized a dozen examples as “Outstanding Disability Employers.”

There are also staff members, many direct support professionals who pour their heart and soul into making life better for this population. And, most importantly, there are families. Their support, guidance and love simply cannot be replaced.

All of these know that people with disabilities have something to offer to society‑ skills and talents, and often a great attitude that rivals some of the best people you know. Still, they don’t get much attention, even though they make up between 7 and 8 percent of Minnesotans. As the largest minority group, their rate of unemployment is four to five times that of the general population.

In our service world, we refer to people with disabilities as individuals.  That communicates that they deserve dignity, respect and some basic assistance to make their lives better. Would you join with me and thank an employer, family or service provider today? Every smile and demonstration of gratitude makes a difference!

—Mike Burke

President, MN Organization for Habilitation and Rehabilitation