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Letters to the editor 12/3

December 03, 2002

The other re-enactors



To the editor:


As a member of a re-enactment group that portrays the time period of the French and Indian War and a rifle company of the early years of the Revolutionary War, it bothers me to see how little attention is paid to that era. History in our area did not begin with General Lee's invasion of the North in 1862.

George Washington, Ben Franklin, Gen. Edward Braddock and Thomas Cresap walked the streets of Frederick. Hessian prisoners of war built a stone barrack that still stands on the property of the Maryland School for the Deaf.

We have the stone home of Jonathan Hager, founder of Hagerstown, in Hagerstown, Fort Frederick at Big Pool - the only stone fort from the French and Indian War in Maryland.

Near Greencastle, Pa., there is the Enoch Brown Memorial Park. In the park is a monument for Brown's Schoolhouse and a tombstone that marks the common grave of Enoch Brown and 10 of his students that were killed in an Indian raid during Pontiac's War.

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At Fort Loudon, Pa., is the reconstructed stockade fort that played an important role as a supply depot during the F&I War. It was also the scene of colonists challenging English authority 10 years before Lexington and Concord.

In Gettysburg, just off the square behind the hotel, in front of the parking garage is a small monument to the First Rifle Company from Pennsylvania to answer Gen. George Washington's call for troops to come to Boston. Doudle's Rifle Company of Thompson's Rifle Battalion mustered there by Getty's Tavern and set off for Boston to help Washington.

A little further afield is a monument to Mary Jemison, white woman of the Genesee, in Buchanan Valley west of Gettysburg. There is a historical marker on U.S. 30. There are also numerous markers on Pa. 16 to sites of forts during the F&I War.

Chambersburg, Cumberland, Old Town, Carlisle and many other towns and cities in Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia have histories and historic sites dedicated to a time before the Civil War. Fort Frederick, the Hager House, Fort Loudon all have events and re-enactments that portray life and happenings of our Colonial era.

This early part of our history should not be overlooked or just skimmed over, for this early time period helped shape what we became. Come out and visit these historic sites, go to re-enactments and learn of our history, first as a colony then as a country, before the shots were fired on Fort Sumter.

Joseph Dimaggio

Cascade




Epidemic ignored



To the editor:


So, is the State of Maryland ready to address its deadly dilemma of HIV/AIDS? According to the very latest statistics compiled by Baltimore City Council President Sheila Dixon's Commission on HIV/AIDS, Maryland rates HIV/AIDS as its fourth leading killer. Baltimore City ranks very high with a national rate of HIV/AIDS four times that of the national average.

"The Baltimore City Council Commission on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Treatment recommends that this state of emergency be addressed immediately by mobilizing local, regional and national resources from the public and private sector to augment current inadequate resources to develop a more comprehensive response that coordinates efforts to address this crisis to reverse the cycle of suffering and death brought on the citizens of Baltimore by this relentless plague."

Health care professionals in the Washington County area note that at an alarming rate women, adolescents and young adults were testing positive for HIV/AIDS. One program manager at the Washington County Department of Social Services states, "The face of AIDS is changing." Another, a community health nurse in the area, is quick to note that Hagerstown is at the crossroads of two interstates and there is an influx of New York and Florida residents who engage in trafficking in the area.

Washington County fell into the same slumber most other counties and Baltimore City did. "The new drugs are really working fine, we think we have beat it." Then up pops the weasel. How is it possible that fewer people are dying from AIDS today, but more people are contracting it? Well, from a lack of initiative in the area of HIV/AIDS preventive education.

Frederic Jones

Roxbury Correctional Institution

Hagerstown

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