Bush and Clinton of different erasEven the history we have...

the Forum

September 15, 1992

Bush and Clinton of different eras

Even the history we have lived is so easily forgotten. When President Bush speaks of his World War II experience -- and by implication denigrates Gov. Bill Clinton -- does anyone remember the differences in the country between his time of war and Mr. Clinton's?

When Mr. Bush enlisted, the attack on Pearl Harbor must have been recent. Without in the least diminishing the bravery and the sacrifices of those who fought, one may say the whole country was behind the United States response.

Every healthy young man expected to be in the military -- one enlisted, if possible, in order to choose the branch of the service one could be most proud of.

A college student then, I remember supervising a group of women folding bandages ("No, fold it the other way, you don't want any loose edges to get stuck in a wound"), knitting gloves for the Navy, helping with registration for ration books . . . .

Female contemporaries worked the night shift in an instrument plant, ferried planes across the country, went to meteorology school in preparation for military needs, proved women could be welders of battleships . . . .

Twenty-five years later, we were in an undeclared war in Vietnam, about which there was by no means a consensus. (The French had sensibly removed themselves from Indochina earlier.)

The war was increasingly costly, the draft was disrupting hundreds of thousands of lives and seeking deferment or exemption was common.

While one may rightly honor those who served, it may nevertheless be acknowledged that the purpose was unclear, the anti-Vietnam war movement respectable and the whole atmosphere of the country far different from those earlier days.

Mary O. Styrt

Baltimore

Risk and reward

Some customers are not aware of the government's intention to allow smaller, inexperienced companies other than the Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. to supply these commodities to their homes.

Before any decision is made, you have the right to seek and obtain information that accurately conveys all factors likely to affect you, the customer, who pays the price.

For over 175 years BG&E has supplied gas to over 2.5 million customers and electricity to 2 million customers. It not only supplies energy, it services the customers' needs.

During my 24 years as a BG&E service technician, I have encountered no unresolved customer service problems. Crucial knowledge and experience are needed to handle these services.

Because of low employee turnover, BG&E employees have responded to all types of emergencies. We have assisted other coastal states when hurricanes and disasters took their toll.

Can I count on smaller, inexperienced companies to handle emergencies?

If disasters strike, will we be calling other states to assist us if these companies do not have the manpower or declare bankruptcy because of insufficient funds to handle major problems?

Every change made by government involves some risk. But when something works well, why change it?

Ingram

Baltimore

Courtesy at the fair was poor

My two children, ages 1 and 5, and I visited the Maryland State Fair. My 5-year-old, Cari, was very excited about seeing the farm animals and riding the rides. She had the sparkle in her eye only children have -- that innocent anticipation of good things to come. Unfortunately that sparkle was replaced by tears after we arrived.

One of the first things Cari wanted to do was go through an obstacle course on the midway.

Halfway through the course she started having trouble. The other kids passed her and she was making her way slowly. Too slowly, I guess.

The woman running the course, instead of helping Cari make it on her own and giving guidance, grabbed her above the right elbow and actually dragged her through the rest of the course and down the steps, not saying a word to Cari or me.

My daughter was so astonished and scared she clung to my leg, tears running down her face until the woman was out of sight. Then she looked up at me and asked, "Why was that lady so mean to me?" What could I say, when I was flabbergasted myself?

So on we went, enjoying the food, sights and sounds, until once again we chose the wrong ride.

After the ride was over, the man running the ride helped the children off. As they were filing out I heard the man say to the kids, "Come on, step it up. I have work to do and I'm a lot more tired than you are."

The children were doing the best they could and were not dilly-dallying. The tone and manner of this man was not appropriate for these 4- and 5-year olds.

I don't know if these people are hired locally or come with Deggeller Attractions, but maybe they should remember who is getting paid to work and who is paying for the entertainment. The more I thought about it, the more irate I got . . .

Thank goodness most of this was forgotten and the rest of the day was uneventful as we strolled through the 4-H exhibits and the wonderful arts and crafts.

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