Voices From The Readers

Mixed Signals

Editor:

It is so sad that we hear and read the many tragic stories about pedestrians getting killed and injured during the summer months in Ocean City.

I don’t know who sets the timers on these stops lights and “walk/do not walk” signs. Hasn’t anyone ever noticed that coming off a side street onto Coastal Highway the “ok to cross” for pedestrians is “On” as well as a green light for drivers to turn? Why? Most of these people are loaded up with beach items, carts and none the less, children trying to get to the beach or get back home.

If we want people to walk in the cross walks, then it should be a “four way stop” light for all traffic. Cars seem to pile up in front of people crossing in the crosswalk so they can catch the green light.

The town of Ocean City is giving mixed signals (no pun intended) to all who visit this town. Someone needs to make a change in these signals to a four way stop of traffic during the summer months to make it safer for pedestrians.

Kathleen Niepsey

Ocean City

Generosity Overwhelming

Editor:

You would think that after living here for 19 years I would not continually be amazed by the generosity of this great community.

Recently, the Ocean City Shark Tournament was held in West Ocean City where several boats that caught sharks donated them to Diakonia so the homeless and people down on their luck could be blessed with food. The total gross weight of the donated fish was over 1,200 pounds.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, staff and guests of Diakonia, I want to thank the captains and crews of the Nontypical, Mako Me, Playmate and two other boats whose names I do not know, as well as Stan the fish cleaner, who donated half of his profit, and Joe O’Boyle who vacuum sealed the filleted shark for al of their gracious donations and love for our community.

Help for today and hope for tomorrow.

Harry B. How III

Ocean City

(The writer is the president of Diakonia, Inc.)

Celebrating our Nation’s Birthday

Editor:

For most Marylanders, the Fourth of July weekend is a busy time filled with parades, barbecues, family, friends and fireworks. It’s also a time to reflect on our nation’s history, its improbable beginning, and its splendid course.

The soldiers who fought and died in the American Revolution were fighting for an ideal – the creation of a nation more perfect and equal. To honor their service, General George Washington, then the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, created a new military award for the common soldier. It was a purple heart made of cloth.

The creation of this award was a departure from military history and protocol. In European armies of the time, only officers were eligible for awards for service and valor. No common soldier could receive this kind of official recognition. Washington’s message was clear: it didn’t matter if you were born into a farming family or a mercantile one, if you were rich or poor. If you gave your service to the cause, you would be recognized. He was saying: all men are created equal.

Eventually, the ‘Purple Heart’ award came to bear Washington’s image. It is the oldest symbol and award that is still given to members of the U.S. military.

In 2003, the Postal Service created a Purple Heart stamp. Affixed on envelopes with letters you send to friends, spouses, or siblings, it is a daily reminder of our brave veterans who fought, or who are still fighting, to defend our nation’s freedom.

Since its creation, the Purple Heart stamp has been reissued four times to keep up with rate increases. This is unprecedented. Other than commemorative holiday stamps, the Purple Heart stamp is the only stamp ever to be reissued in the history of the postal service.

Recently, I joined several of my Senate colleagues in co-sponsoring the “Perpetual Purple Heart Stamp Act”. This legislation would designate the Purple Heart Stamp as a ‘Forever stamp.’ It would be a small but enduring step to ensure we never forget the sacrifices of our veterans.

Forever stamps are never out of date, and they allow you to mail a letter anywhere in the U.S. at the first class rate, regardless of what a first class stamp cost was when you purchased the forever stamp. If passed, the Purple Heart Stamp would become the second Forever stamp ever issued. The Liberty Bell is the only Forever stamp now.

I wish you a very happy Fourth of July weekend. We should all enjoy the time with family and friends gathered around. Let’s all also take a moment along the way to remember our veterans who fought for our freedom, many of whom wear the Purple Heart.

U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski

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