Bea Gaddy's example will live on Many years ago, for a...

SATURDAY MAILBOX

October 13, 2001

Bea Gaddy's example will live on

Many years ago, for a period of time, my girlfriend and I were unemployed and struggling. I remember Bea Gaddy and how she let my girlfriend live with her and helped her get a job. Every day after looking for work I would visit my girlfriend at Ms. Gaddy's house. She really took good care of my girlfriend and helped me by being there for both of us as a support.

Eventually things got better, but I will never forget the kindness Ms. Gaddy showed and the advice she gave us: "Never give up. Even though at times life can throw you some curves, keep trying and eventually things will get better."

She was right, and I am thankful she was there for us when we needed a friend. Ms. Gaddy was a great woman who helped many people. She will be missed very much.

Murphy Edward Smith, Baltimore

Bea Gaddy was a giant in our community of organizations that help disadvantaged people ("Advocate was `always on a mission' for poor," Oct. 4). Whether it was hunger or any other consequence of poverty, she gave and gave and gave - whatever she had.

Many of us have slogans for what we do; hers could have been: "I walk the talk."

A meeting with Bea Gaddy at her place was wonderful to observe: how she stayed with the core concept while helping dozens of people who floated in and out. One couldn't object to the distractions because it was so obvious her people came first.

In our eyes, her legacy will be that she created a giving environment.

People recognized her name and gave from their hearts and pocketbooks to her and to others who helped in the same cause.

Those others will work on - hundreds of emergency care providers throughout the city who address the needs of thousands of people who find themselves in an emergency situation every day.

Ms. Gaddy has left us, but we'll make sure she's not forgotten.

Baltimore is blessed for having been her home.

William G. Ewing, Baltimore

The writer is executive director of the Maryland Food Bank.

Bea Gaddy's life is an example of what one person can do, when motivated in a positive way. She is truly a role model for all of us.

And what will Thanksgiving be this year without her?

God bless her and all the people who helped her.

Marge Griffith, Pasadena

A very bad year for Palestinians

An important milestone for all Americans has been passed over in silence by The Sun. The milestone? A year has passed since the killing of 12 Palestinians after Ariel Sharon's infamous visit to the Haram al-Sharif, the third-most-sacred site of the Islamic faith, after Mecca and Medina.

On the day following Mr. Sharon's provocative visit to the Haram last Sept. 28, the Israeli army opened fire on Palestinians peacefully demonstrating to be allowed to pray at the Muslim holy site. The Israeli army used excessive and unwarranted force, killing 12 demonstrators in two days.

Such severity proved, looking back over the year, to be the template for Israel's actions throughout the following months. The loss of life in the past year has been great, with 696 Palestinians killed. The number of Palestinians injured has reached approximately 23,000, nearly 1 percent of the Palestinian population living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The overwhelming majority of these Palestinians were killed when going about their daily business: at home, at work, at school, walking the streets, in their cars.

The year also witnessed a 52 per cent expansion in the population and size of Israeli settlements and the construction of 46 new colonies. At the same time, in one year, the Israeli military and settlers destroyed more than 3,500 Palestinian homes, 108 wells and 50 places of worship.

At the end of this first year after the collapse of the Oslo peace process, there are over 77 Israeli military checkpoints throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which, together with road blockades and trenches, divide the Palestinian territories into 220 easily controlled separate clusters.

Twenty-five Palestinians died this year when roadblocks or Israeli soldiers at checkpoints prevented them from receiving medical treatment, and at least six women gave birth at checkpoints.

Israel now prevents more than 125,000 Palestinians from going to work, causing a daily income loss of $6,250,000 and a 51 percent drop in GNP for the Palestinian territories. Unemployment has risen to 50 percent, with 82 percent of Palestinians living below the poverty line, on less than $2 a day.

Twelve months have passed, the Oslo accords lie in tatters and the Palestinian people have been oppressed to a point far beyond anyone's imagination a year ago.

The resistance to illegal Israeli occupation has been strong, however - a resistance that demonstrates Palestinians' knowledge of their rights: to a viable state, comprehensive borders and liberty.

These rights are ones that Americans identify with and cherish - rights most Americans like to think our foreign policy works to foster among other peoples. Perhaps we should all think again.

Michael K. Scott, Baltimore

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