We want your opinions

May 03, 2006

ISSUE:

Adam Goodheart, interim director of American Studies at Washington College in Chestertown, has raised a troubling question for the U.S. Naval Academy: Does the crypt in the basement of the military college's chapel really hold the embalmed body of John Paul Jones? In this month's issue of Smithsonian magazine, he suggests that the remains of the father of the U.S. Navy might still be in a desecrated Parisian cemetery, and were perhaps even used to fertilize a garden. Given that several of Jones' family members are buried in the U.S. and that the academy has a lock of hair alleged to be his, Goodheart asks, why not perform a DNA test? Academy officials, pointing to extensive work by a team of French anthropologists conducted when the body was found 100 years ago, have rebuffed Goodheart's idea.

YOUR VIEW:

Should the academy disinter the remains to confirm that the tomb so carefully guarded by midshipmen does, in fact, hold Jones' body?

Tell us what you think at arundel.speakout@baltsun.com by tomorrow. Please keep your responses short, and include your name, address and phone number. A selection will be published Sunday.

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