Letter writer Dorene Terryberry lamented the sight of “families paying last respect” with empty boots instead of with crosses. She implores “Let us die with our boots on (Letter, Village News, Dec. 3, 2009).”
I suspect Ms. Terryberry does not know the origins of the phrase “He died with his boots on.” It signifies that the gentleman in question did not die peacefully in his bed, but met with a violent and sudden end. ‘Out West’ people had a disagreeable habit of shooting each other out in the OK Corral, and in the old South, blacks were not infrequently discovered taking the morning air suspended from a convenient limb of a tree. Black people in the old South were murdered on their own soil by the KKK without the courtesy of removing their boots beforehand. How thoughtless!
Perhaps Ms. Terryberry would prefer that. It seems her real preference however, is that Jewish people be compelled to have a cross placed on their grave, insisting this is a “Christian nation.” Perhaps she does not regard our Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims as Americans. Or perhaps she prefers that Jews, if they must die peacefully of old age, must do so in bed with their boots on.
At any rate, Terryberry’s comments are ludicrous, if not intolerant. Not in harmony with the message of the One whose birth is celebrated Dec. 25.