Affter more than a year of planning, the ceremony commemorating the 135th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam will get under way this weekend. Everything that could be planned - traffic control, comfort stations and emergency medical services, to name a few - has been planned.
Now organizers are worried about the one area they can't control - the skies. With no legal authority to ban flyovers of the site by hot-air balloons or private planes, they are appealing to pilots and balloon operators not to intrude on the event.
We second that appeal, even as we lament the fact that neither the state government or the Federal Aviation Administration could find a way to prevent airborne rubber-neckers from detracting from the event. According to Maryland Del. Bruce Poole, the FAA said that it could only ban flyovers if there was some natural disaster, or if President Clinton were attending the commemoration.