Post office is still important to communities

In reference to “Experience shows Postal Service badly run” (Letters, Herald, June 4), it’s unfortunate when problems occur in the shipping business, especially involving special occasions. Many of us have had similar experiences with various carriers. But when millions of parcels are shipped daily, issues are going to happen regardless of the carrier. We take for granted the fact that almost all U.S. Postal Service mail is received at its destination on time.

I still marvel at the fact that I can drop a letter in a mailbox here in Durango and it is received in Virginia three days later, for 45 cents (“expensive”?). And although the majority of our correspondence today is electronic in nature, do we not all have to use standard mail service now and then, or know someone who still appreciates receiving a handwritten letter?

If this service “goes the way of the Pony Express,” private carriers will not provide it at this rate. The U.S. Postal Service has public responsibilities and provides regular services that are not required of a private carrier, and its sustainability and viability in today’s world is rightfully questionable. But to condemn its existence because of one disappointing experience is unfortunate.

My grandfather lived in a town of 800 people. Every day for the last years of his life, he drove his car down to “get the mail,” regularly visiting with the postal employees and his community. I believe that he lived to the age he did because of this, and his later years were better for it. Still, today there are thousands of little post offices around this country in towns where the post office is the only place of community where people can see one another on a daily basis.

One day, the USPS as we know it will probably not exist, and all of these small-town post offices will disappear. Perhaps a nod of appreciation is due the USPS for the years of service and sense of community it has affordably provided.

Les Layman