City residents want no part of French ties

April 20, 2003|by RICHARD BELISLE

Hagerstown residents aren't of a mind to cozy up to France and establish a sister city relationship with the French city of Saumur after France's rebuke of the United State's decision to invade Iraq.

Of 15 Hagerstown residents interviewed on the subject,Saturday, 12 gave a resounding "no" to the idea.

Some said the timing is wrong. A few said they don't believe the United States should ever deal with France again.

Three had differing opinions.

"No, the way they kind of stabbed us in the back, I don't want to deal with them, at least for now," said Jerry Barr, 30.


Sharon Green, 40, doesn't even think the question is appropriate at this time.

"In light of recent events, I think it's bad timing to even ask that question," she said.

"They like to be a goody two-shoes in the eyes of other countries, but then at the end they want to be friends," said Miguel Rivera, 29. "France is an opportunistic country."

Stacy Taylor, 27, said she doesn't think relations between the United States and France will ever change after the current strained relations.

"They didn't back us when they should have," she said.

Another resident believes France has forgotten that the United States saved it during World War II.

Chris Windle, 45, said she has two sons in the Navy in the war in Irag.

"I don't think so," she said.

She said she doesn't like France's attitude about the United States going into Iraq.

"It's like they've forgotten World War II," she said.

Les Seville, 63, couIdn't agree more.

"There are graves of 70,000 Americans buried in France who died in World War II fighting to save it, and now they won't help us," he said. "No way."

James Scott, 82, a World War II Army veteran who fought in the Pacific Theater, wants nothing to do with France.

"They wouldn't go along with us after all we did for that country," he said.

One resident believes there are more pressing issues that should take up the city's time.

Thomas McDonald, 32, would rather the city concentrate on what he said are foul odors emanating from a city sewer treatment plant off Frederick Street.

"It would be nice if they could do that," he said.

Ivy Warner, 75, thinks it's wrong to blame the French people for what their leaders do.

Larry Bollinger, 65, thinks it's time to get over the problems between France and the United States.

"We have enough problems right here. We have to live with other countries," he said. "They can boycott us and we can make our points, but it's time to move on."

Rick Aleshire, 53, thinks Hagerstown's sister city relationship with Wesel, Germany, is enough.

"We already have one," he said. "Why do we need another one?"

"I don't think we should mess with it," said Dennis Spickler, 36. "They've said their position, so ..."

Mark Allen, 40, is one of those who wants to wait.

"I don't think this is the appropriate time," he said. "Maybe down the road if things get healed up."

"No," said Albert Smith, 50. "It seems like we tried to help Iraq and the French are against it. I don't understand politics like that."

For Lori Smith, 42, whether Hagerstown and Saumur become sister cities or not doesn't matter.

"I don't care either way," she said.

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