School PrayersFor about 200 years, public schools started...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 15, 1994

School Prayers

For about 200 years, public schools started each day with an opening prayer. During that time, there was very little crime and morals were on a much higher plane than today.

Sun columnist Mike Littwin said things such as, "What's so special about having prayer in school?" My opening statement above answers his question. He also says that "school prayer violated the First Amendment, which prohibits state-established religion."

I would like to know how a moment of silence could be compared to establishing a religion?

Walter S. Kenton Sr.

Towson

No Draft Dodger

Within the usual dreary litany of President Clinton's ills, J. Edward Johnston Jr. (letter, Sept. 9) continues to perpetuate a fiction about Mr. Clinton's activities during the Vietnam War.

To charge him with draft-dodging is patent nonsense. I was not aware that he burned his draft card or fled the country to escape induction into the armed services.

He did protest the war, as many of us did, and wasn't ashamed to voice his views, even while abroad (he was a student at Oxford at the time).

Our erstwhile vice president, on the other hand, did support the war, and promptly joined a well-protected National Guard unit. In fact, it is safe to say that Mr. Clinton spent no less time in Vietnam than Dan Quayle, Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh combined.

Mr. Clinton has incredible responsibility as commander-in-chief and must exercise his military power carefully. In any event, he must not let criticism of his earlier anti-war stand divert him from making important decisions.

An invasion of Haiti will undoubtedly cause casualties. Hopefully, these will be fewer in number than those suffered in Desert Storm, where we halted (but hardly eliminated) an aggressor who, during the past two administrations, actually enjoyed our country's support.

Kurt R. Keydel, Jr.

Severna Park

Floral Highway

What a delight to drive on I-83, north of Shawan Road and see the successive swathes of wild flowers someone has planted in the median, and on the northbound side at one spot.

I don't know who to thank but I do thank whoever is responsible. It is soothing and uplifting and a joy to tired eyes.

Margaret G. Christy

White Hall

Cowardice over the Confederate Flag

Political cowardice took over the Cumberland City Council on Aug. 16, when this body of spineless politicians, without even the courtesy or formality of a recorded democratic vote, went against a majority of Cumberland citizens as expressed in a recent survey, as well as unanimous letters to the editor to the Cumberland Times-News, and decided that the honorable and historic battle flag of the brave men that served the Confederate States of America during the War for Southern Independence BTC should be removed from the City Hall rotunda in Cumberland.

This raises the question; on what other issues is the Cumberland City Council acting in such a high-handed and disgraceful manner?

The mayor and City Council caved in to threats and intimidation from a handful of NAACP members, who now have a veto over the heritage of all Americans, including the heritage of the citizens of Cumberland.

The NAACP can now, it seems, with impunity censor our nation's history to suit its own present day political and social goals.

I assure you it will not stop with this temporary victory. It is the stated purpose to eradicate from our national life all symbols of the Confederate nation, including Confederate monuments, songs and, in at least one case, the graves of our dead.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans is a national patriotic and historic organization made up of descendants of members of the armed forces of the Confederate States of America.

It is neither political nor sectional, and is not affiliated with any other organization. We have, by two resolutions passed at national conventions, condemned any racist group that would misuse the Confederate flag as a symbol of hatred against any American.

Our sole purpose is to honor our Confederate ancestors and their leaders, preserve Confederate graves, monuments, war relics and symbols and present the Southern perspective on the history of the War Between the States.

It was in that spirit that the Sons of Confederate Veterans made every good faith effort to reason with the mayor and the Cumberland City Council to retain the display of the Confederate flag along with other historic flags in the City Hall collection.

All this was to no avail. Although the Confederate flag had been on display for almost 20 years, along with a number of other historic flags that had flown over Cumberland at one time or another, and some or all of them were a gift to the city from a now deceased Cumberland citizen, these people had already made up their minds.

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