Sun chooses to ignore important local events to focus on...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 17, 1998

Sun chooses to ignore important local events to focus on scandal

Twice, in as many weeks, as the nation wallows in salacious, lurid, and titillating disclosures about the behavior of the president, The Sun has chosen to virtually ignore two major events in Baltimore that lifted the spirits of participants and onlookers alike.

First, on Sept. 5, a new warship was commissioned at the Inner Harbor. U.S.S. Raven became the second vessel in three years to be named for one of Baltimore's professional sports teams. Her commissioning drew one U.S. senator, two members of the House of Representatives, six serving flag officers, retired admirals, the families of crew members from all over the United States, veterans of World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the Persia Gulf war, and a thousand spectators. It was a remarkable and colorful event, patriotically and spiritually uplifting. Yet there was not so much as a word about what had happened and why.

On Sept. 12 and 13, the greatest Defenders' Day celebration in memory was staged at Fort McHenry. Scores of re-enactors from as far away as Canada, encamped on the grounds to represent American and British forces engaged in the Battle of North Point and the defense of Fort McHenry.

A replica of "Barney's Barge," the flag of Commodore Joshua Barney's gunboat flotilla, cruised offshore, cannon booming. On Saturday night came the most spectacular re-enactment of the conflict ever staged at Fort McHenry. The U.S. Army Field Band presented a marvelous concert and, as night fell, Louis Davis of Morgan State University led 5,000 spectators in singing the "Star-Spangled Banner."

Again, aside from an archival photo and brief mention on Thursday and a photo buried in the Maryland section on Sunday, were the only mention of the event.

Alan R. Walden

Baltimore

The writer is president of the Baltimore Council of the Navy League of the United States and chairman of the Patriots of Fort McHenry.

It took the stained dress for Clinton to stop lying

Is there anyone over the age of 9 who truly believes that without the blue dress, Bill Clinton wouldn't still be denying, lying and stonewalling?

It isn't the sex that's important; it's the lying.

Robert A. Erlandson

Towson

Let's open prison gates for the repentant

President Clinton is truly sorry and repentant. He should, therefore, be spared further annoyance.

Let's be consistent. Let's open the gates of all our prisons to all those felons who are also "truly sorry and repentent."

Don't we really know that what he is sorry about is that he was caught?

Marion Friedman

Baltimore

Don't make excuses for Clinton's behavior

Intelligence is the ability to deal with a range of abstractions. Bill Clinton is not using his full ability to recognize some of the long-term effects of his actions.

No one should hide behind religious beliefs that say, "let he who is without sin cast the first stone." This allows people to get away with anything because nobody is judging anybody else.

More appropriately, people should judge and be prepared to be judged; stop looking to a man's faults and saying he couldn't help it because he is only human. Instead, look to the noble and heroic in man and see what man can and should be and start electing leaders with moral and heroic ideals that our children can aspire to.

Ray Merryman

Baltimore

Unethical to use scandal to weaken the presidency

The reaction of the president's critics to his admission of an affair with Monica Lewinsky is not really the result of moral outrage. Rather, it is primarily a political attempt to stop further implementation of administration policies.

What the president's critics should know but apparently do not is that it is unethical to try to end 24 years of a person's dedication to public life and implementation of public policy because of a serious mistake in personal behavior.

Under Mr. Clinton, the economy has grown steadily, violent crime has decreased and the deficit is no more.

Power, as always, is the issue here, and the president's mean-spirited critics are not afraid to wield their power to regain the presidency, however unethically.

Of course, the president's actions are indefensible. He owed his wife, his daughter and the American people far better conduct in office than he gave.

Still, impeachment is out of line and more hurtful for the president and the nation than necessary.

Stephen Siegforth

Baltimore

We lose our good leaders to personal weaknesses

Remember Achilles' heel? In our country, it seems that successful people are often defeated by someone preying upon their weaknesses. Those who are not able to compete on an equal level resort to bad sportsmanship. When this happens in politics, our government is disrupted.

We have lost good leadership time and time again when the competition is eliminated one way or another.

And people from both parties have been guilty of that.

Marjorie C. Scharrer

Towson

Praise for program to add reading and math teachers

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