Fallston teens' death shouldn't be in vainThe Rothgeb...

LETTERS

September 24, 1995

Fallston teens' death shouldn't be in vain

The Rothgeb family would like to express their sincere thanks for the overwhelming support and sympathy received from the sheriff's department and the community since the loss of their beloved Eric. The memorial erected, where he was killed, and the letters and cards are greatly appreciated.

Sixteen-year-old Eric Rothgeb and his best friend, 18-year-old Christian Leonard, were both tragically killed on June 24 as they walked along the shoulder of Route 152 in Harford County. They were struck by a 20-year-old driver who had been drinking, crossed the centerline and veered all the way off the road into the shoulder striking and killing both young boys, then left the scene.

Eric was a mature 16-year-old, gifted and talented student at Fallston High School, varsity athlete in baseball and football, and about to enter his senior year. Eric regularly attended church and read the Bible. Everyone who knew him loved him.

Perhaps the most ironic thing about how Eric was killed is the fact that he was adamantly opposed to drug and alcohol abuse. The family is very troubled by the fact that not only was the driver of the car intoxicated but that he was an underage drinker who had apparently been served alcoholic beverages in several bars that night.

Eric's family is asking for the continued support of the community to help them to fight the tough battle of saving innocent lives by removing drunk drivers from our streets and highways through tougher laws and harsher sentences. . . . Please write your elected officials and/or join your local chapter of MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving). But most of all, please don't drink and drive.

$ Lisa Lynn Marvis Ellen J. Berkowitz

Owings Mills

The writers are attorneys representing the Rothgeb family.

Judging from trooper, KAL was correct

After KAL's cartoon on unsafe trucks appeared, . . . many people wrote to complain that the industry was being unfairly portrayed.

I was therefore quite surprised to read an article by Brenda Buote in the Aug. 20 edition of The Sun for Harford County. The article was about a Maryland State Police officer who inspects the trucks that travel our highways. "About 65 percent of the vehicles that he inspects have mechanical defects dangerous enough to require that the truck stay off the road until the problem is repaired . . ."

It looks like KAL was right all along.

Mark L. Szczybor Joppa

The atomic bomb saved lives

I would like to answer the comments of Richard Ochs on "Bombing of Hiroshima as a Capitalistic Crime," in his letter to the editor, Sept. 2.

First, the times dictated that the bomb be dropped. Secondly, if the Hiroshima drop did not convince the Japanese die-hards, how come the Nagasaki bomb did? If the first bomb did not convince them, then the second bomb was justified. In all fairness, who was to blame for the second, if not the first? Give the emperor of Japan the credit for ending this practice by surrendering his nation unconditionally.

This history major's suggestion of blockading Japan, starving them and preventing war materials and other goods from reaching the island, could result in a worse disaster.

When you have an enemy on the run, you never want them to rest and regroup. More elaborate defenses can be built. More kamakaze pilots could be trained. Damaged equipment repaired. State-of-the-art equipment improved. And maybe, just maybe, developed an atomic bomb of their own. History major needs to review world military history and learn some of the lessons of waiting out the enemy.

The name of this game is "kill or be killed." Which side would you have preferred during those "times?" Do you know what the letters in the word "WAR" stand for? Weapons, Ammunition, Rations. Compromise or lose any one of these and you become history.

We had a score to settle with Japan after Pearl Harbor, the Bataan Death March and the thousands upon thousands of good men who died in the many island campaigns. The Japanese did not make it easy either. They know how to fight and suffer. Invading Japan would result in more casualties than the two bombs that were dropped.

Do yourself a favor, Mr. History Major, and read the September edition of the Veterans of Foreign Wars magazine. It will refresh and expand your knowledge of U.S. military history of that period.

You should not equate President George Bush's decision not to invade Baghdad with President Harry Truman's decision to drop the bomb.

The latter decision is clear, the U.S. and allies won the war. The former decision in Iraq remains unclear, unstable and unsettled. Another one of those Bosnia catastrophes.

Finally, your statement about capitalistic crimes and takeovers as those of Nazis, Fascist and Japanese aggression are completely out of line and do not belong on the same playing field. . . . The times dictated this event and the people who lived through it favored this event. The present generation will never change it. The atomic bomb saved lives . . .

( Nicholas Bronaugurio Aberdeen

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