Duel at Barney's
Editor: In reply to John D. Barnard's letter of Oct. 28 insulting the brave men who stood, fought and died defending Baltimore at the North Point:
If this were 176 years ago, I would cheerfully, in the manner of the time, invite him to meet me behind Barney's tavern to resolve this with pistols or swords. These, however, are modern times when we prove our theories with facts; or in Mr. Barnard's case, by stating only those facts that support his theory.
The rallying of the 3rd Brigade at its secondary position at Bread and Cheese Creek and the refusal of the British to continue the action were omitted from Mr. Barnard's list of facts; coincidently, it is precisely these facts that prove the British paid too heavy a price in both men and leadership at North Point. They had won the field but had lost the heart to continue fighting.
The failure of the British demonstrations against the entrenchments at Loudenslager's Hill on September 13, and their failure to reduce Ft. McHenry by bombardment on September 13 and 14 were important factors in the salvation of Baltimore, but it was the victory at North Point on September 12 that broke the British spirit.
This is why, when the people of the time began an annual celebration of our victory over the British, they chose September 12. This is why we have a state holiday, on September 12 called Defenders Day.
If Mr. Barnard would care to experience what it was like on that day, he is welcome to participate in next September's re-enactment at North Point.
I'll even supply him with a nice red uniform.
The writer is re-enactment chairman of the Defender's Day Committee.
Bring Pogo Back
Editor: I want to add my support to Kathy H. Fuller's plea that you bring back ''Pogo.'' Like Ms. Fuller, I question the decision, particularly if it was based on last summer's ''poll.'' Since there were no limits on the number of times a caller could vote, I do not think statistical validity can be attached to the results.
In this age when many aspects of American life -- economics and politics to name two -- have become nothing but illusion, we need satire to puncture it and reveal, however briefly, reality. Garry Trudeau's ''Doonesbury'' cannot do the job alone. We need ''Pogo,'' too. Bring it back. Please.
Editor: Carol Simon's letter of Oct. 9 would lead a person to believe that Our Daily Bread is an unnecessary or unhelpful institution. She states that Our Daily Bread does not service the ''truly needy.'' Who is to say who the ''truly needy'' are? Is one hungry person more deserving than another?
Editorial writers and the like are correct in praising the efforts of Our Daily Bread. I don't think any intelligent person would think that institutions such as Our Daily Bread are the only answer to the problems of the hungry and homeless. Why does Ms. Simon criticize this one effort?
And as far as convenience is concerned, why shouldn't a soup kitchen be conveniently located? Shall we make the poor struggle even more? And Ms. Simon is terribly condescending when she states: ''. . . concerned citizens . . . occasionally drop off a meat loaf . . . and go home feeling good about helping the needy.'' Well, that is one way of helping the needy.
How very sad that the sincere efforts of people who wish to help are so cheaply criticized.
Mary Ellen Sample.
Editor: Your coverage of the retirement of Elmanus Herndon included a brief review of his 27 years of service in a career that ranged from line correctional officer to head of the Division of Correction.
I have known Mr. Herndon in many of his professional positions for the past 15 years. He has epitomized the public safety official who is truly committed to the long-range goal of restoring offenders to the community ready to become responsible and productive citizens.
I saw this in evidence one Saturday last May. After a week of unquiet at a major facility, he drove 1 1/2 hours to attend an AA-degree convocation ceremony for about a dozen inmate students. After the ceremony, he took lunch with the graduates, their families and their teachers.
This gesture was typical of the Elmanus Herndon I worked with. Whether we know it or not, we have all been enriched by his contributions as a dedicated public servant.
The writer directs correctional education at the Maryland Department of Education.
Activists for Children
Editor: I confess to being appalled at the shocking display of ignorance of the juvenile court judges' responsibilities as reflected in your Oct. 9 editorial entitled ''Juvenile Battle.''
The issues in any individual case are too intricate to attempt to capsulize in either this letter or your editorial but the concepts involved should be understood. Juvenile court judges, by statue and practice in Maryland, are supposed to be activist in the pursuit of justice for children.