Political items shouldn’t be near religious event

I went to the Our Lady of Mount Carmel carnival in Hammonton as I have done every year since I was a child. As usual, it was a great time and the feast always offers family-friendly things to do.

In the 46 years I’ve been attending, never have I seen political-themed sale items. Why would anyone want to see anything like that? It’s splattered on televisions thanks to the 24/7 news stations.

Across from the church, a gentleman was selling President Trump-related items. And we all know that seeing stuff like that causes an immediate visceral reaction whether you agree or not.

Whichever the party, it is his right to attempt to make a profit for himself. But how do the Mexican-Hammontonians, who just want to take their children to the fest and enjoy themselves, feel about what that represents? What ever happened to separation of church and state? And why isn’t anyone standing up for common decency anymore?

Whatever people’s politics, they should be able to agree that politics should be nowhere near a family-themed church carnival. I anxiously await the name-calling of me being a snowflake, or telling me to go back to my country (born and raised in New Jersey, thank you), and if I don’t like the U.S. then leave. (I wouldn’t want one less vote for normalcy from exiting this country that I love).

Joy Korngut

Galloway Township

A.C. coach Ramsey never quit helping kids

Gone far too soon for us, yes, but not gone before he transformed an incalculable number of lives. In my opinion, both our Father and all the angels amongst and above us reached the unanimous decision, “well done, good and faithful servant!” Because if ever there was a man with a servant’s heart, faithful to the calling on his life and the purpose placed before him, no matter the obstacles that would have to be endured, it was coach Michael S. Ramsey.

Between 1988 and 1992 he was not only my track and field coach but a father figure, whose daily lessons during track practices and meets I still reference and seek to uphold. He was big on forgiveness, even when I argued against it. I understand now it was my spirit with which he was most concerned — not theirs. He reprimanded me often for the tantrums I threw as the result of a perfectionist attitude which I’d developed to counteract the remnants of a dysfunctional childhood. I realized, much later than I care to admit, his opposition to my pity parties was because he saw a potential in me I did not yet see.

Ramsey spent every moment we had together pushing me beyond my preconceived limitations; he wanted me to live as the person he believed I was born to be, rather than succumb to being someone others told me I would “most likely” be as the product of generational familial discord. Because of his belief in me, I began to believe in me, too. And together Ramsey and I got me a few Track and Field Championship medals and a long jump record at Atlantic City High School that lasted almost 20 years.

To remember Coach Ramsey is to remember a man who was exceedingly more than a coach: he was the father figure who guided us and cared about us unconditionally; the leader with a servant’s heart who believed in and never gave up on us. He never gave up on any one of us.

Cherita Jackson Kirkland

Memphis, Tenn.

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