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To the editor: The emotions that I am now feeling as I let the reality of the closing of Holton Home sink in are frustration, anger and a deep sense of sadness ("'Very difficult decision': Inside the Holton Home closure," May 4). For several years, I played music at Holton Home and other Brattleboro-area elder facilities. Holton Home stood out in its quality of care. I could see it primarily in the eyes of the residents and caregivers.

I’m frustrated and angered because I know why it is closing, although many will not agree with me. It is closing because we are a nation that has lost its way. We are a nation that has perfected the art and science of killing — to the point of making weapons of war in almost every town with a population over 500. The U.S. economy is a war economy. We are in the process of spending $1.7 trillion to build new nuclear weapons, but hardly anybody knows about it, aside from the weapons contractors and the corrupt officials that are feeding them. Our health care system is an expensive shambles, yet decades of inaction go by to replace it.

Why not? Because the post-WWII economic concept of guns vs. butter has almost no meaning today. You can’t prioritize one without sacrificing the other. To criticize the military and military spending is political suicide to the politicians and has been for a very long time. Even Bernie is far too cautious around the subject.

So there is no money for Holton Home and it took a pandemic to close it. Maybe the elders (and I’m included) should put our faith in a future anti-aging pill, similar to the faith that our country placed in a future solution to long-term nuclear waste storage.

Daniel Sicken

Putney, May 4