Meeting hate with love in ThurmontOn Saturday, June 8, I...


June 23, 1996

Meeting hate with love in Thurmont

On Saturday, June 8, I had the privilege of spending a good portion of the afternoon at the Thurmont United In Love gathering.

Upon arrival at Thurmont's Memorial Park, with a warm greeting by Pastor Zamostny's wife, I was given a small ribbon of red, yellow, black and white to pin on my blouse. Large ribbons of the same colors were displayed outside the homes of those in Thurmont, standing against hate groups in their community.

I joined the growing crowd of several hundred mostly white townspeople. They were young, old, mostly families, long-haired, short-haired, a fellow named "Slim" in cowboy hat and boots, as well as a handful of African-Americans, some students and nuns from nearby Emmitsburg, reporters, photographers and about 20 police officers.

I spoke to one lady who worked in one of the local churches and received one of the hateful phone calls from the Grand Dragon of the KKK in Thurmont. (He took credit in a local news report.) The pastor led us in prayer, to meet hate with love and to not be afraid if some of the haters walked among us. We were to pray for them, as they are bound by hate. As he finished praying, some pickup trucks started to drive around the park whose occupants waived Confederate flags. If they shouted something, it could not be heard over the Pledge of Allegiance, National Anthem and fine speakers.

I am so glad I attended this gathering of love. It validated my belief that there are still people willing to stand up for what is right. The good people of Thurmont need our prayers, as they could not leave and drive home like I was able to do. They have put themselves on the line. I applaud their courage and have great admiration for them as well as a renewed hope for racial harmony. Indeed, red, yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight.

Helga Rottach


County turning into a city

Dear Commissioners Brown, Yates and Dell: I am a sixth-grader at Mount Airy Middle School and I think you're allowing too much building in Carroll County.

When I moved here, I moved to get away from the city. When I first came here, I saw beautiful fields, lots of farms and a lot of open space where I could play.

If we don't stop all the new houses being built, then we will turn this place into a city because new houses bring more people, more people mean more schools and stores, more schools and stores means bigger roads, bigger roads bring more traffic, more traffic brings more pollution, more pollution brings less trees. The farms will be gone, there will be no more beautiful fields and the crime rate will increase. Is this what you want for our county? My opinion is that we were doing fine six years ago.

I think that people move to the county to get away from the city. We do not need all this building. We have enough houses and we don't need any more.

I hope you take my letter seriously because I think it's important.

Jennifer Leese


Pub Date: 6/23/96

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