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Letters to the Editor

September 14, 2010

Americans need to support N.Y. Islamic center



To the editor:

I can easily see why many Americans are upset about the proposed Park51 Islamic Center in Manhattan. It is not because of what the project is really about, but because of the symbolism that goes along with it. And the symbolism of course is this:

"We, the Islamic radicals attacked and destroyed the icon of the American Satan - the WTC towers - and are now replacing it with the icon of the holy Islam - a mosque."

False symbolism, I might add. Because in the face of reality, the Park51 project is not on the World Trade Center site (but two blocks away), it does not replace the WTC towers (the Freedom Tower does that) and a mosque is simply a place where Muslims can peacefully pray (and not an icon).

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Nevertheless, we Americans are sensitive to this kind of symbolism. It has been used over the centuries by all kinds of emperors and conquistadors - tearing down the icons of their predecessors and replacing them with their own. Didn't American troops topple a statue of Saddam Hussein right after the invasion of Iraq? Yes, it is very powerful symbolism indeed.

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is a scholar. He understands that symbolism. And he must realize that the Islamic radicals who orchestrated the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks will celebrate the Park51 Islamic Center as a symbol of their final triumph. On the other hand, if we oppose Park51, we vindicate the religious hatred that the Islamic radicals already have against us.

No, the only way out of this quagmire is for us - all Americans - to turn around and actively invite, support and welcome the Park51 Islamic Center. Park51 will then become a symbol of America's triumph over radical Islam - their defeat and our victory.

Hans K. Buhrer
Smithsburg




September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month



To the editor:

September has been designated as Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month to raise awareness about this deadly disease. Teal is the ovarian cancer community's color and serves as a reminder that ovarian cancer is the deadliest of all of the cancers of the reproductive system and a leading cause of cancer death among women.

As a breast and ovarian cancer survivor, I am grateful for all of the research dollars, early detection tests and improved treatments for breast cancer. My hope is that one day, the same will be true for ovarian cancer.

Until that time, it is essential that all women be aware of the symptoms. It was once felt there were no symptoms, which is why ovarian cancer was called the "silent killer." Today, the medical community agrees that the disease has the following specific symptoms - bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, urinary urgency or frequency and difficulty eating or feeling full quickly.

If you experience these symptoms almost daily for more than a few weeks, please see your doctor immediately. I ignored these symptoms for three weeks thinking I had an intestinal flu. This message is for women of all ages, you're neither too young nor too old.

Ladies, please listen to your body and if you suspect something might be wrong, be proactive and contact your doctor. Early detection of ovarian cancer saves women's lives.

If you would like more information, go the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance website at http://www.ovariancancer.org.

I've submitted this letter in remembrance of two friends that are no longer with us due to ovarian cancer.

Marsha Guderjohn
Hagerstown

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