News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Gilliam did a good job as Decaturís police chief

To The Daily: It has come to my attention that Joel Gilliam will retire as our chief of police at the end of the month.

I would like to express my appreciation for him. Whenever we had crepe myrtle sales, and that lasted for 10 years or more, Mr. Gilliam sent out a policeman to direct the traffic.

A sale might be advertised for 9 a.m., but customers would be gathering at the front gate at 7 a.m. An officer arrived soon thereafter, and usually before the driveway was crowded. He soon got everyone lined up and the traffic flowing in the right direction. We tried to improve the traffic pattern every year; that kept everyone confused.

I lived by myself a long time and I always felt comfortable, knowing that the Decatur police were on duty.

Any city would be proud to have someone like Mr. Gilliam to be its top cop.

Frances Philpot Evans

Shoe-box gifts sent all around the world

To The Daily: I would like to share with you how the residents of Decatur and North Alabama gave generously this holiday season so hurting and needy children around the world could receive Christmas gifts. The local drop-off site for Operation Christmas Child, Saint Luke United Methodist Church, collected 28,322 shoe-box gifts.

The boxes collected locally were filled with small toys, hygiene items, school supplies, and personal notes and joined over 7 million shoe-box gifts, which were hand-delivered to children in more than 90 countries. For many children, this was the first Christmas gift they ever received.

On behalf of Operation Christmas Child, I want to express our sincere thanks to all the local residents, churches, and groups who packed shoe-box gifts, to the volunteers who helped with the collection, and to Saint Luke UMC for hosting the collection. Through their partnership in service, those shoe-box gifts will be a source of joy and hope in the life of a child this Christmas season.

A special thanks to Melanie Smith, The Dailyís religion writer, for the continued support through articles she has written about this wonderful ministry.

Though the city drop-off location is closed until next year, thereís still time to send a gift-filled shoe box to a child overseas. Gifts are received year-round at Samaritanís Purse, 801 Bamboo Road, Boone, N.C. 28607. For information on packing a shoe-box gift, go online to or call (800) 353-5949. Thanks again to everyone who gave so generously!

Sharron Cook

One letter writer will be missed by another

To The Daily: I was saddened to read of the passing of Karl Dunlap. I have enjoyed reading his observations and opinions in the letters to the editor in The Daily over the years. He always seemed to express himself well and I think he had quite a sense of humor.

Though I never knew Mr. Dunlap personally, I sensed him to be a strong presence in his community. For my part, his contributions will be greatly missed.

James Roden

Express yourself

The Decatur Daily welcomes your views on any public issue. Letters must bear your signature and printed or typed name (including an initial; for example John A. Smith or J. Albert Smythe), full home address and phone. We publish only original letters of 300 words or less.

  • Mail to: Letters to the Editor, The Decatur Daily, P.O. Box 2213, Decatur, AL 35609-2213.

  • Letters can be faxed to 340-2392.

  • Letters can be e-mailed to

    Letters will be verified before publication. One letter accepted per person each month.

  • Leave feedback.

    Email This Page