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Letters to the editor

July 16, 2006

We can't continue to ignore Darfur genocide



To the editor:

To most people, genocide seems like a thing of the past. It has occurred throughout history numerous times. From the Holocaust to Cambodia, genocide has never faltered in devastating those that are affected by it.

If allowed to take place, genocide is a relentless force that brings suffering and affects one generation after another.

It remains as one of the greatest crimes against humanity and its criminals should be prosecuted to the fullest extent. In an ideal world, genocide would not occur, but those who think genocide is a thing of the past are wrong.

Genocide occurs every single day in Darfur, Sudan. Hundreds of thousands of innocent people in Darfur have already suffered the travesties of genocide. The genocide in Darfur is a tragically complex matter. Not only are the criminals of genocide murdering, torturing and raping thousands of their victims, but they are also forcing thousands of people into tiny refugee camps where the spread of disease and hunger is unstoppable.

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In a refugee camp, one could expect to see thousands of tents clustered near each other. There would also be crude bathrooms and water supplies.

Further into a refugee camp, one would find a makeshift hospital with limited sanitary conditions and supplies due to inadequate funding. Yet, to the victims of genocide, refugee camps are heaven compared to the horrors outside the camp's borders (even though refugee camps are often targeted and destroyed by the criminals of genocide).

Children who are abandoned due to the murders of their parents or stolen from their parents are forced to do horrendous acts by their torturers. Boys are forced to join a militant army where they are forced to kill other young boys who refuse to join. Even worse, the girls are forced into slavery where they are sold as sex slaves.

The crime of genocide is stoppable, whether it be through force or diplomatic measures. Society has the power to stop it and we are obligated to do so.

We stopped the Holocaust, which was the worst act of genocide in history. So why shouldn't we stop the genocide in Darfur?

Furthermore, a forceful route does not have to be taken. Write letters to Congress - along with the United Nations - to take a diplomatic route. The G-8 Summit is scheduled for next month, so by letting the rest of the world know that allowing crimes against humanity to occur is inexcusable, a diplomatic resolution should be found within that summit.

So, take a stand against the genocide in Darfur. We cannot sit back and allow a crime as ghastly as this to occur.

Brittany Williams
Clear Spring




Thanks for the race, Hagerstown



To the editor:

Just wanted to send a big thank-you for the article covering the Hagerstown Criterium this past weekend. Although the race had its bloody moments, it was a perfect day for such an event and the location was great.

As a new racer to this sport, I cannot tell you how nice it is to participate in an event where the local residents are not only happy to allow us to use their roads for a day, but are out there supporting us. Again, a big shout out to the the EMTs and Washington County Hospital for their amazing emergency care and assistance.

I'm looking forward to racing in Hagerstown next year!

Robin Zimmerly, Team HPC/List
Washington, D.C.

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