Parade FlagsI would like to call to the attention of your...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

January 20, 1993

Parade Flags

I would like to call to the attention of your readers that Maryland will be represented in the Inauguration Day Parade today by a marching group known as the Original 27 Flags from the American Legion Dewey Lowman Post Number 109 of Halethorpe.

This is a group of men, women and children who are members of the American Legion, the Auxiliary, and the Sons of the American Legion who march with the 27 U.S. flags that were commissioned by the Congress of the United States since 1776.

There were 26 changes since "Old Glory" was sewn together. Robert Ford, the current Maryland American Legion adjutant, started the Original 27 Flags in 1975.

This group is not new to the Inauguration Parade scene because it marched in the 1977 parade for Jimmy Carter.

Take note of the three most unique flags as the parade passes by. Flag one is the 13 stars and 13 stripes flag representing the 13 original colonies. Flag two is the Star-Spangled Banner that flew over Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. It has 15 stars and 15 stripes. Flag 27 is the last flag commissioned by Congress with 50 stars and 13 stripes.

Michael J. Connelly

Catonsville

Best Students

Your Dec. 27 article decrying the preparation of the "best and brightest" U.S. students seems at odds with the little publicized results of the 33rd International Mathematical Olympiad held last July in Moscow. The United States team, composed of six high school students, finished second in competition with 52 countries.

Was this just luck or a one-time event? Hardly. The United States has competed 18 years and has always placed within the top six countries. In seven of those years, we were either first or second.

I believe that these contests, administered under strict rules and regulations and open to students nationwide, say much more about the preparation of our best students than do the ruminations of the few college professors quoted in your article.

G. Keith Harmeyer

Timonium

Fighting Guns

Hal Riedl did a great disservice to the gun control movement in this state by his virulent and wholly unjustified attack on the records of Sens. Paul Sarbanes and Barbara Mikulski and Reps. Ben Cardin and Kweisi Mfume (Opinion * Commentary, Jan. 13).

These four legislators have been among the leaders in Congress in the fight for reasonable gun control legislation. They have each made banning assault weapons and enacting a national handgun purchase waiting period among their top priorities.

Mr. Riedl is unimpressed by their support for the waiting period law which he describes as "fatuous." Does he consider it "fatuous" that the Maryland State Police stopped over 12,000 criminals from obtaining handguns under Maryland's waiting period law? We need our legislators to fight to give police this tool everywhere in America.

Mr. Riedl himself recognizes the importance of banning semi-automatic assault weapons, which are of use only for criminals and terrorists.

He does not mention, however, that Senators Mikulski and Sarbanes, Representatives Cardin and Mfume have all strongly supported and voted for federal assault weapons legislation.

Last year Senator Mikulski and Representatives Cardin and Mfume, who were up for re-election, all made banning assault weapons key campaign issues.

Marylanders Against Handgun Abuse and the thousands of Maryland citizens who support our effort to enact reasonable gun control measures are very proud of these four leaders in the Senate and House of Representatives.

Vincent DeMarco

Baltimore

The writer is executive director, Marylanders Against Handgun Abuse.

Death and Exile

In 1992, Egypt arrested 700 Muslim fundamentalists for acts of terror, i.e., killing a few tourists. In 1992, Algeria experienced violence by Muslim fundamentalists. The authorities clamped down and an unknown number of Muslim fundamentalists were killed or arrested.

The total number of Muslim fundamentalists killed by Saudi authorities has reached into the thousands. In Syria, over the years, thousands of Muslim fundamentalists were killed by the government. Other Mideast countries have similar records.

In 1992, Israel arrested 400 Muslim fundamentalists and deported them to Lebanon. It is important to note that Israel did it for the same reasons as did the other regimes cited previously. Yet, instead of killing these people Israel deported them. Guess which country was condemned by the U.N.? Guess which country is getting the bad press?

Joseph Haus

Reisterstown

Life Trustee

Thank you for the decent way you have reported all the news about the late Alvin J. Levy, interred but never to be forgotten by all of us who honor him in death as in his abundant life.

It was my father, class of 1921, for 62 years a teacher at McDonogh School, now 89 and retired, who was the first to greet Mr. Levy when he came to all of us to begin his own McDonogh career, in 1943, three years before I, too, would graduate.

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