Thanks for question asking Sun readers to express...

Letters to the Editor

November 26, 1998

Thanks for question asking Sun readers to express gratitude

In response to The Sun's Nov. 16 question "What are you thankful for?" I would like to applaud and give thanks to the newspaper for its heartwarming idea.

In the seemingly commercial and careless society we live in, it becomes all too easy to neglect the true meaning of the Thanksgiving holiday. The gratitude and love that is supposed to surround us today is often overlooked by thoughts of full stomachs and days off of work.

Amid the numerous articles about government or crime during the holiday, readers can find contentment in the real-life accounts of happiness shared by others.

I genuinely look forward to enjoying the narratives sent by other readers.

Kelly Stewart

Baltimore

In response to The Sun's Nov. 14 article, "What are you thankful for?" I wish to commend you for your invitation to "remember the true meaning of the holiday."

It seems as though the stuffing and cranberry sauce of Thanksgiving dinner mask the best part of that special Thursday in November.

Too many people appear impersonal and uninterested in acknowledging what they are most grateful for. We cannot wait until we lose what we have to begin to appreciate it. It is important to be grateful for what we have. This time of year is a wonderful time to reflect on what really matters.

Amanda J. Redman

Fallston

More than land transfer needed for peace in Israel

The editorial "Israel-PLO peace nearer" (Nov. 22) uses the word "peace" to mean transfer of land from Israel to the Palestinian Authority.

Only after spending three-quarters of the editorial praising the recent Israeli withdrawal does the editorial acknowledge any responsibility that Palestinian Authority leader Yasser Arafat might have to help the process along.

Since the Wye accord was signed, two miracles have saved scores of Israeli lives from what the editorial calls Mr. Arafat's "good faith."

In one attack near the Jewish communities in Gaza, more than 30 schoolchildren were saved when three soldiers blocked a suicide bomber from crashing into the their bus. In a Jerusalem marketplace, two suicide bombers failed to kill anyone other than themselves when their car caught fire before exploding. Both attacks had a common element: At least one of the participants was someone that Israel had asked the Palestianian Authority to incarcerate, and the authority did not comply.

The Sun quotes polls claiming that more than 70 percent of the Israeli public supports the peace accords. That doesn't tell the whole story. Most Israelis demand that the Palestinian Authority start observing the responsibilities it committed to over the past five years.

Until the Palestinian Authority learns that governing is more than simply receiving unearned bounty, it will remain inimical to the aspirations of its citizens. Learning to fulfill its responsibilities concerning Israel would be a good, if belated, start.

David Gerstman

Baltimore

Former Sun building used by the military

The history of the old Baltimore Sun Co. building at Baltimore and Charles is incomplete without mention of its occupants after 1950, when the newspapers' offices moved to Calvert Street ("The news flashes before your eyes," Nov. 21).

In the summer of 1951, during the Korean conflict, headquarters of the U.S. Air Force Research and Development Command moved to Baltimore from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.

In addition to the old Sun building, ARDC also occupied a building at 420 Fallsway, which subsequently was razed during construction of the Jones Falls Expressway.

Some time after peace talks brought the conflict to an end in 1953, ARDC moved from Baltimore to Andrews Air Force Base, outside Washington, and became Systems Command. Some reservists, myself included, remained in the area after release.

David N. W. Grant Jr.

Baltimore

Troubling treatment of child in custody

I am appalled but not surprised at the treatment of Allen Jacob Chesnet by the Cecil County police and prosecutors ("Held without proof, boy free," Nov. 20). For them to have questioned a learning-disabled minor for 15 hours is outrageous. To have held him even a minute beyond the time they got the preliminary DNA results was unconscionable.

This case demonstrates that the goal of police and prosecutors sometimes is simply to have a suspect in custody, not necessarily the right suspect.

It is important for the public to recognize that, unfortunately, this is not an unusual or isolated incident. Any of us, or our children, may be subjected to this same kind of detention and questioning by the police, regardless of lack of involvement in any crime.

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