Bereavement support crucial for childrenMary Ellen...

LETTERS

November 14, 1995

Bereavement support crucial for children

Mary Ellen Dougherty's poignant piece (Opinion * Commentary, Nov. 1) describing her student at the Maryland Penitentiary, "The death of my father," confirmed again the importance of bereavement support for children who suffer loss.

If he had been given the opportunity to express and work through his very normal feelings of anger, rage, horror, loneliness, sadness and helplessness, his life choices may well have been completely different.

His statement ''from that moment on I would be irreversibly changed'' is, of course, absolutely true. It is always true when humans experience major loss.

However, when grief is recognized, understood, encouraged and supported, the ''irreversible change'' can be of a positive nature. It can mean the ability to work for improvement to be sensitive to the pain of others, to have the personal power to reach out to those others and to at least heal. The person who has died can then occupy a place within the child's heart and mind forever, enriching life that continues.

I= I grieve for this young man and for all that he has lost.

Sandra B. Fink

Towson

The writer is coordinator, Center for Grief & Loss at Stella Maris Hospice.

Almighty dollar true NFL sign

As a lifelong Cleveland Browns fan now living in Maryland, I experienced a very sad day. Only longtime Baltimore Colts fans know what I'm feeling.

When Cleveland regularly draws 70,000 fans per game, proposes $170 million in stadium improvements and still loses the Browns, something is wrong with the economics of sports. Franchise free agency is a disturbing trend in the NFL. Moving the Cleveland Browns is a travesty.

I am not angry with local fans; Baltimore deserves a team. I am angry with the way team owners conduct their business and the shortsightedness of league policy over the last 15 years. Spoiled children like Bob Irsay, Al Davis and Jerry Jones have created an atmosphere of greed, mistrust and back-stabbing in a league once known for loyalty and fair play.

The National Football League of the Nineties is more a game of political football than a game played on the field. Pitting entire cities against one another in a game of "Can you top this offer!" is pathetic. Honor and tradition mean nothing.

Art Modell left a great tradition behind in Cleveland. I know he is trying to compete in the current economic climate of the league. It's just sad for all of the true Browns fans that the almighty dollar now dominates the NFL.

Tony N. Torlina

Lutherville

Law enforcement panel is endorsed

I have read with interest the commentary regarding the proposal to create a blue-ribbon panel to investigate law enforcement in America. Your editorial of Oct. 30, ''Crisis in law enforcement,'' was on the mark.

As a retired police officer who is still active in the criminal justice community, there is nothing more abhorrent to me than the Mark Fuhrmans of our world. He exemplifies everything that is wrong about an otherwise honorable profession.

David L. Kreek

Cambridge

Aggressive policing cleans up community

Peter Hermann wrote a story Oct. 24 about the so-called ''9-0-1 Club,'' in which he alleges that officers of the Eastern District were aggressively arresting scores of people on loitering charges in order to rack up hundreds of hours of overtime.

In the same story, he states that the officers were only following the orders of their district commander, Maj. Odis L. Sistrunk Jr., to ''aggressively patrol and pick up the pace".

I live in the Eastern District and I applaud the actions of the officers and Major Sistrunk. Every day, people loiter upon our church steps leaving garbage, drug paraphernalia and urine. Our church is located in a so-called ''Drug-free Zone'' but it is obvious these people believe the law does not apply to them and they are free to do what they want.

Fortunately for my parishioners and for me, the officers of the Eastern District care for us and do their best to remove the criminal element. If this means being aggressive in arresting people, we support the officers 100 percent.

Fr. John McLoughlin

Baltimore

F: The writer is assistant pastor, St. Wenceslaus Church.

Freedom fighter deserved invitation

I must disagree with my old friend Harry Rashbaum's letter of Nov. 1. Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, as mayor of New York City, had an obligation to treat all the world leaders attending the United Nations' 50th anniversary celebration with equal respect, without regard to his personal feelings.

Yasser Arafat is the representative of the Palestinian people and has devoted his life to the cause of restoring their homeland to them. While I deplore the methods he and others, Israeli leaders included, have used to attain their goals, I cannot accept his being described as a ''terrorist chieftain.''

His actions have provided a home to his people and helped move peace in the Mideast forward.

In my experience, a terrorist is often a ''freedom fighter'' whose goals we do not share.

Dennis St. John

Baltimore

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