D-Day MemoriesMy husband, a retired colonel, and a friend...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

July 07, 1993

D-Day Memories

My husband, a retired colonel, and a friend have just returned from Europe where they spent a few days in England going to the places where my husband had trained and supervised the training of troops for D-Day in 1944.

The remainder of the trip was spent in France, where they visited the D-Day landing beaches and nearby cemeteries.

At each of these, there were commemorative ceremonies, and my husband was seated on the platform. Before one of these began, a French colonel saw him the audience and came up to him. When he saw that my husband had been awarded the Croix de Guerre, he insisted that he sit on the platform and that he belonged with the honorees.

At each service, the British and French television and print press were represented, and a BBC reporter interviewed him at length. Conspicuous in their absence were the American media.

The trip was one of memories and great satisfaction. Most gratifying of all was the tremendous outpouring of thanks and gratitude everywhere by the French people for the part the United States played in rescuing them from their Nazi oppressors.

Jane Hutzler Wolf

Baltimore

School Prayer

Your editorial on June 17 spoke of the enduring power of the ban on prayer in school. The tone of the article would lead one to believe that this is a decided issue that has not been recently changed. This is untrue.

School prayer is not dead. Individuals may pray any time that they want to. But prayer time, per se, is not given. Teachers, as agents of the state, may not lead prayer.

Commencement prayers have been affirmed by the Supreme Court as long as they are student-led and student-initiated.

Prayer is speech and has been recognized by the high court as deserving legal protection as such.

The Supreme Court recently let stand a lower court ruling that permitted high school students to vote for commencement prayer by a simple majority of the graduating class.

God has not been exiled from the public forum, and prayer in school is not a dead issue.

David P. Gilmore

Glen Burnie

Insensitive System

During the past school year, the Baltimore County Board of Education and its superintendent considered the very emotional issue related to inclusion of special-needs students into regular classrooms and schools, a process typically known as mainstreaming.

Unfortunately, Superintendent Stuart Berger and Board Chairman Rosalie Hellman have exacerbated a very delicate and emotional issue by their failure to display sensitivity to the concerns of parents, teachers and students.

Furthermore, the failure to have an inclusive process which would provide open and full debate has turned the matter into a debacle.

It is very disappointing to me, as a resident of Baltimore County, as a father of children who attended Baltimore County public schools and as a grandfather with a grandchild attending a Baltimore County public school, to witness an emotional explosion which is neglecting to address the most important issue, that being what is in the best interest of our children.

Melvin A. Steinberg

Annapolis

The writer is the lieutenant governor of Maryland.

Role Models

I was rather surprised by Gemma Hoskins' condemnation of professional ball players in her June 12 letter. It seems to me that teachers and athletes actually have a lot in common.

Both groups work only a part of the year. Both are controlled by unions. And both have an influence on our youth, frequently being held up as role models.

While the Orioles and the Mariners certainly deserve reprimands for their actions, they are not the only groups that don't always present a desirable public image to our youth.

Take, for example, public school teachers on strike, refusing to work or applying the work-to-rule concept. These actions certainly don't show teachers in a positive light or help them maintain an appearance of role models. And do unions ever really pay any fines for their members' actions?

I find teachers' attitudes toward money (strikes) an insult to the citizens who pay their wages, and hardly professional.

Our children deserve a major-league roster of teachers. It is certainly more difficult to find out information about a teacher's training and ability than it is to look up a baseball player's history of accomplishments. Which is more important? How about some baseball cards on teachers?

I also find it less than reassuring when Ms. Hoskins states, "It appears that educators can no longer be comfortable holding sports figures up to their students as individuals to follow and emulate."

I wouldn't want athletes presented to my children as role models at any time. I certainly have to agree with Charles Barkley and Nike when they say that you find your role models in your parents and not in athletes.

R. D. Bush

Columbia

GOP vs. Democrats on Deficit Reduction

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