To the editor:
I'm so glad to read the numerous letters expressing distress about the amount being spent on Bush's inauguration this month. I certainly hope to read that President and Mrs. Bush, who apparently are scrutinizing every detail, call for restraint and perhaps a request that donations go to either the tsunami relief effort and/or military families facing financial hardship. I guess I thought the funds were just pouring in from supporters and the committee was looking for ways to spend it all. I now see that the donations are being solicited to pay for the numerous events, dinners and dances, with requests starting at $100,000 and going up to $250,000 for a "package deal."
The inaugural committee is "honoring" our troops with productions that compete with Hollywood for extravagance. Two thousand tickets have been set aside for those who have returned from Iraq or are preparing to deploy. I hope the costs associated with attendance -- travel, food, lodging and appropriate attire -- are included for those honorary attendees whose families are facing bankruptcy and food stamp benefits.
The criticism of the amount of aid we are providing to tsunami victims is indicative of our new status in the world. While I'm sure some couldn't care less, appearances do count, and toning down the festivities in our capital will go a long way with the world community, our servicemen and women, and those struggling within our own communities. Not to mention that it's the right thing to do.