Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia


October 6, 2009

Your Opinion - Debra Sloan

AMERICUS — What are they thinking?

What the heck is the City and County thinking of, renaming our airport? I understand that they want something named after President Jimmy Carter, but let’s not take something that has already been named for someone and change it just because we want President Jimmy Carter’s name on it. (Americus) Mayor (Barry) Blount said, “it’s a done deal and cant be undone.” Personally, I think the only thing that cant be undone is dying, especially when it’s a mistake of this magnitude!

There is rich history built into Souther Field, and naming it after President Carter would be a slap in the face of all who have served at Souther Field and more importantly Maj. Henry Souther. If there is anyone in his family left, I imagine they will be shocked and dismayed at how easily we can name something after such a fine gentleman, and then 90 years later decide to slander this same man and name it after someone else. So what if the major never served a day at Souther Field? He was still a major icon as a pioneer in Army aviation. This airport was named after Henry Souther, because he was the chief of the Aircraft Engineering Services of the Army Air Service and evidently very good at his work. This honor was printed in the New York Times 1918 edition under Army and Navy News Column.

What are the City and County getting out of it? Got to be something to throw this lame-brain idea out there. Let’s name something else after him ... he's done nothing for the history of our airport; he never served there in any capacity except as a person flying in on a jet, and he was not an icon in Aircraft Engineering Services. It will be a disgrace for this action to take place. Leave the name as it is, and let's continue to celebrate the history and the lives of those who really built Souther Field into the unique place that it is. It was built on their backs and their hard work; it has nothing to do with President Jimmy Carter’s legacy. I understand that his grandfather’s homestead used to be located there. If this piece of land was that important to the Carter family, they should have already bought it back.

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