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Letters to the editor (2)- 10/02

October 02, 2002

Educate yourself before condemning French



To the editor:


In a letter of July 14 (quite a coincidence since it is Bastille Day), Sid Huguenin makes a sweeping statement about the uselessness of the French "in every conflict in the last century."

Being French-born, I could cite names, books and instances in which people, certainly not the odious Vichy government, but ordinary, democracy and freedom loving citizens of that country fought and died, helping the military efforts of the Allied forces in 1940 to 1944. I was there and I remember. Even today the media, along with many French citizens, can and do admire and defend this country.

I am enclosing the translation of an editorial, published in Match Magazine, dated June 5.

"They spat on their graves.

"It is like an arrow being yanked out, in one swift movement. That day, at 10:25, New York time, a metal pylon, nine meters high, the last remnant of the Twin Towers, was pulled from the ground by a gigantic crane.

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"The ceremony took place at the exact hour and minute when, on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, the second tower collapsed, carrying in the dust, the victims of the worst murderous terrorist attack. 2,823 dead. The United States and the world were in shock. Almost nine months later, the tears are mostly American ones. The world has long since dried its own.

"Three days before the homage at Ground Zero, President Bush was in France, on the Landing Beaches, to celebrate Memorial Day. Another cemetery. Nine thousand three hundred eighty six young Americans rest in Colleville, under the vast green lawn, in row after row of white crosses and Stars of David.

"The day before, some thousand demonstrators paraded against 'American imperialism.' At Caen, place de la Rsistance; in Paris, place de la Rpublique. Rsistance. Rpublique. What future would these words have had, without the Allied landings that were going to free France and Europe from totalitarianism? Reading these hateful banners that Sunday, the day before the day of mourning and meditation, one could only feel shame.

"To compare June 6, 1944, and Sept. 9, 2001 would be out of place and shocking. Jose Bovi, the new grand master of New thought, denounces the mixing of the war against racism and the 'so-called fight against the agents of terrorism.' There are throughout the world and in France, many Bovis who feel such hatred against the United States, that they refuse to recognize the righteousness and the legitimacy of that struggle. "To their eyes, America is too powerful to be either victim or hero. We should constantly free ourselves from her, keep secret our feelings, never cry nor pray with her, much less thank her, for fear of paying her fealty. According to these people, America is always at fault even when her soldiers and civilians are killed. That train of thought, dipped in an ignorant anti-Americanism, is insane, insulting and under present circumstances, stupidly suicidal.

"The common link, the only one, but it is a major one, between the events of '44 and today, is war. And in this war that, in a half-century has changed its form, and totalitarianism its face, America is our powerful ally. Without her, Europe cannot militarily face the threats, defend itself or, much less, fight back. If unfortunately, a terrorist attack of the strength of Sept. 11, was to reduce to ashes a tower in Berlin or Paris, neither France nor Europe would have the means to declare war, even less to fight it.

"We would ask for America's help, and it is that same America that is today mocked and insulted by some in German and French streets. The United States and its president, whose apparent lightweight and lack of awareness of facts worries us, cannot be exempt from criticism.

"America often seems arrogant, simplistic, but that's America. It is a friend not always perfect (any more than we are) with whom we must and can discuss everything, without spitting on its graves."

By the way, American blood was "spent," to use the writer's words, not only on French, but Italian, Belgian, Dutch, German, Austrian and Romanian soils as well Don't pile it all up on one country.

Before criticizing and condemning, read and learn more.

Mrs. Harold H. Jacobs

Hagerstown




Mayor's apology rang hollow



To the editor:


In your July 25 Tri-State section of The Morning Herald, Mayor Tom Newcomer felt it necessary to offer a public apology for his behavior leading up to an unfair labor charge being filed by the Chambersburg, Pa., Police Association.

Unfortunately, it appears that the mayor may be having some difficulty understanding that an apology needs to be unconditional and the art of negotiation may not be his area of expertise. While apologizing to the residents of Chambersburg and the borough police for his unjustifiable outburst after a meeting with Police Association representatives, the mayor felt it necessary to temper his apology with justifications for his behavior - thus negating the sincerity of his words.

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