Mourned LeaderA golden opportunity was missed by The Sun...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

April 29, 1993

Mourned Leader

A golden opportunity was missed by The Sun to highly publicize the passing of a true black leader of Baltimore.

Retired Col. Vernon F. Greene, who passed away April 13, answered the call of his country in the segregated 1950s when he took hundreds of black men and boys from Baltimore and Maryland to fight in the Korean War.

He commanded the all-black 231st Transportation Truck Battalion of the Maryland National Guard.

When we were federalized Aug. 2, 1950, just after the outbreak of the Korean War, he took the battalion headquarters and the 726th Transportation Truck Company to see action in Korea.

Another unit under him, the 147th Transportation Truck Company, was sent to do their part of the war effort in Europe.

Viewing his body at the church caused me to reminisce about how we had to drill in the shadows of the 5th Regiment Armory, above a market called the Richmond Market Armory, and the harshness we had to overcome in Korea during the war.

Segregation was at its highest in the early 1950s, but thanks to the leadership of Colonel Greene, and the role model he presented, young black boys like myself learned to overcome the harshness of segregation, and made men of ourselves.

Colonel Greene may not be one of the national black leaders that is always recognized. But he is certainly a black leader whose name and military record should be recorded in history books for all young people to see the sacrifices that blacks made to help keep America free, and the superior type of leader that he was.

Louis S. Diggs

Catonsville

Hypocritical Stand

Having opposed every one of our military interventions in the last 25 years years, I am the last person to advocate sending our forces into battle. But how can we call ourselves a civilized people and allow the horrendous atrocities in Bosnia to continue?

Did we learn nothing from World War II?

Isn't it hypocritical to say "never again" while we look the other way as "ethnic cleansing" is taking place right in front of us?

We spend hundreds of billions of dollars each year on our military, giving them enough capability to fight two and a half gulf wars simultaneously anywhere in the world -- and now they tell us they can't stop Serbian aggression? That is just not believable.

Forty-eight hours of continuous air strikes against Serbian artillery, supply lines and other military targets would quickly have them signing and keeping the peace accords.

There are very, very few times when military force is justified. Now is such a time.

To be silent now is to be complacent. Call your congressman today.

Dan Jerrems

Baltimore

Nicaragua Role

Three years this month, Violeta Chamorro became president of Nicaragua.

While there have been tremendous changes throughout the world during that time, the news from Nicaragua sounds all too familiar: renewed fighting in the countryside over issues of land; worsening economic conditions affecting the poor first of all, and a fragile national reconciliation being torn asunder by long-standing divisions.

Regrettably, something else sounds all too familiar: The U.S. government is not playing a helpful role in all of this.

While the Clinton administration gave many hope that there might be a new policy toward Nicaragua and the rest of Central America, in fact one of the worst aspects of the Bush administration -- the holding up of more than $50 million in U.S. aid -- has continued under the new government.

Nicaragua needs this assistance, voted by both houses of Congress, to help heal the wounds of 10 years of war and continue working on a difficult reconciliation.

The Clinton administration has the chance to act now and give a clear signal that change is not only the hallmark for its domestic programs but also the keystone of its relationships with our Central American neighbors. After spending hundreds of millions to destroy Nicaragua, the U.S. must not turn aside from the task of rebuilding it.

Reuben Lee

Baltimore

Gun Control

I am writing in response to a recent letter from a reader who questioned certain provisions of the Brady bill pending in Congress.

First, although the seven-day waiting period is the major provision of the bill, the period can be waived. If a person can prove to the local police department that it is essential to their safety to acquire a handgun immediately, the police may waive it. Second, the bill provides that convicted felons, underage applicants and people judged insane may not purchase a handgun. Does that bother anyone? Remember, this bill applies only to handguns. It remains legal to purchase a long gun. Thus, a citizen's basic right to keep and bear arms will not be denied.

Lastly, this gun bill will save lives. This matters to all of us. While criminals will always find ways to purchase guns, people who are dangerous and unpredictable will be prevented from owning a gun.

It is every citizen's duty to know the provisions of this bill before making a judgment.

Diane T. McDaniel

Galena

Wrong Place

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