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What's wrong with invoking providence?

The Freedom from Religion organization, which recently challenged Rapid City Council's right to open their meetings with prayer, has no clue about how seriously our founders took acknowledging God in our country's endeavors.

The closing sentence of the Declaration of Independence states, in part, "with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence." Since that phrase is "hard-wired" into our country's existence, what's wrong with invoking the protection of divine providence before city council meetings?

More spirituality (not organized religion) and the recognition of divine providence or God in government would be a good thing.

Secular humanism has had its run and it obviously isn't working; just look at what a mess things are at most levels of government.

"The historical cycle seems to be: From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to apathy; from apathy to dependency; and from dependency back to bondage once more." - Henning Webb Prentis, Jr.

Perhaps a healthy dose of invoking the protection of divine providence, aka prayer, is what's needed to reset the American zeitgeist to taking courage once again.

Samuel R. Kephart, Spearfish

Nation's veterans will come to Hot Springs

In response to Peter Henry's Jan. 28 column, Save the VA believes veterans will travel from "Chicago or Atlanta" to receive their care at the domiciliary in Hot Springs. Using data obtained from the VA under a Freedom of Information Request, veterans from Florida, Iowa, Montana, New York, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia were admitted to the domiciliary in Hot Springs during fiscal year 2011.

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A quote from an American Legion site visit of the Hot Springs facility states, "The BHHCS-Hot Springs residential program has a reputation across the country as a surreal place where veterans want to come to seek treatment as a result of their effective, high quality, and increased demand for services. Veterans enjoy the holistic mental health care they receive in a beautiful tranquil environment."

We believe veterans will continue to travel to Hot Springs to get their lives "back on track."

The focus of Save the VA has never been "Fall River Veterans" or the economic impact on Hot Springs. Our purpose is to continue to advocate for veterans to receive their care where they choose.

To all veterans, thank you for your service! Our efforts will continue.

Patrick Russell and Bob Nelson, Save the VA, Hot Springs

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