Women once served in Navy without ordealThe Tailhook...

the Forum

April 30, 1993

Women once served in Navy without ordeal

The Tailhook scandal and the Naval Academy sexual harassment episodes are unfortunate reflections of attitudes that have developed in recent years.

I served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. From September 1943 through November 1943, I attended the Parachute Riggers School at Lakehurst, N.J.

Half of each class was composed of members of WAVES (Women Appointed for Voluntary Emergency Service). They were highly respected, did an efficient job and graduated with top honors. There were never any problems.

While I was stationed at the Norfolk Naval Air Station in 1943, a depth charge being loaded on a plane exploded. The first WAVE to die in the line of duty was killed in that accident.

During my three years of service from 1942 through 1945, I was stationed at many naval bases and worked closely with many WAVES. During those years men had a high respect for women.

The only conclusion I can come to regarding the plethora of sexual harassment complaints occurring these days is that there has been a severe breakdown in the family structure and respect for women has been lost.

Apparently the legal system must now ride herd on our young men to correct their lack of common sense and decency.

It is obvious that naval discipline has seriously failed our present generation. It is time for our new secretary of the Navy to clean house and give the naval service a fresh start.

Walter Boyd

Lutherville

Rail's not bad

In "On the other hand" (April 20), Dan Berger says, "Baltimore rail transit finally goes to Anne Arundel County, a quarter century after Anne Arundel refused the offer."

For those who do not know, or do not remember (or choose not to), more than 25 years ago the comprehensive plan for rail rapid transit for the Baltimore metropolitan area included a line south to Glen Burnie. But the citizens of Anne Arundel County didn't want it.

A new generation and gridlock on Ritchie Highway changes minds. Or as Dan Berger says: "See, it is not so bad, is it?`

Harry E. Bennett Jr.

Baltimore

Absurd argument

I am writing in response to the myriad of letters admonishing the Sunpapers for their stand on gun ads. The frothing over infringement of free speech on this issue constitutes an absurd argument.

Nothing compels any other publication to advertise any particular product. This is not censorship, unless the National Rifle Association and its supporters would maintain that a newspaper is legally bound to accept all solicitations for advertising.

Then, why not run ads for pornography or hate-group publications? The answer should be obvious: because most editors would consider it unethical to do so.

Therefore, if the Sunpapers decide they will not accept advertising for firearms, that is their right. Convincing the gun lobby, however, is probably a fruitless task.

After all, by twisting the concept of a "well-regulated militia," the so-called defenders of the Second Amendment have argued that each of us has the right to create our own arsenal. The problem is they just don't want it well-regulated.

Mark O'Connor

Baltimore

Unruly behavior

I am probably the perfect stereotype of a white, middle-class, middle-age suburbanite who also happens to think Baltimore is the most wonderful city for work and recreation. The two are not mutually exclusive.

On several occasions during the past two summers, I have been the recipient of what could only be termed confrontational and intimidating behavior by bands of teenagers in the Inner Harbor area.

Technically no laws were being broken. But to have large groups of any type running wildly, shouting loudly, breaking through small groups of strollers and screaming in one's face is most unpleasant.

Folks are reluctant to frequent this sort of a place for a meal and a bit of relaxation. There are acceptable codes of conduct one follows when in public, and these codes should be upheld at the Inner Harbor. Otherwise the result is a mob situation.

My husband and I visit various areas of the city several times a week, often with friends or relatives. Recently, however, we've been going by ourselves more and more often because many of our companions are frightened by unruly conduct in public places.

If city officials, newspaper writers and Baltimore citizens persist in blaming the visitor or tourist for "paranoia," then perhaps they would prefer we stay in Towson or Cockeysville and spend our money there as well.

Cathy Soares

Lutherville

Senior needed

Three Orioles on third base? There's still time to sign them up for the Cal Ripken (Sr.) Baseball School in Emmitsburg!

Katy Khakpour

Seattle, Wash.

Sad commentary

I am writing in response to the well-reasoned and well-writteApril 22 Evening Sun editorial, "Second-guessing deadly force."

The editorial dealt with the fatal shooting, by a police officer, of 14-year-old Simmont Donta Thomas.

I am a mother and pray never to know the pain of losing my son. But I have also had my car stolen by four juveniles.

They bailed out in the daylight, were arrested, have been through the court system and have essentially gotten away with the crime. I remain the victim.

Simmont made a choice. He chose to be in a stolen vehicle. For what reason we will never know.

And wouldn't everyone like to erase the consequences of that night?

Officer Edward T. Gorwell II has my support for what he is enduring right now. His life will never be the same.

My third-grade class at Joppa View Elementary School has loved and supported Officer Jimmy Young since he was critically wounded in September 1992. His life will never be the same, either.

There was no "good call" on a tragic night such as this one. I support The Evening Sun's response to what is a sad commentary on today's world.

Pat Schuster

Perry Hall

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