I, like many thousands of Baltimoreans, thoroughly enjoyed the Sailabration events of the last few days. The parade of tall ships, the Blue Angels, the sharing of international cultures, all were a delight to behold. The Inner Harbor never looked more beautiful and was never more infused with energy and excitement. I swelled with civic pride.

But this civic pride was completely crushed when I happened upon the9/11 Memorialon Sunday. In an effort to better view the festivities, dozens of people were sitting on the marble slab, walking on top of it, and what is completely appalling, standing on the twisted beams from the World Trade Center. This is a complete desecration of one of the most sacred artifacts of America's history. Would Washington allow people to walk atop the Vietnam Memorial Wall? Would New York allow people to climb into the trees of their 9/11 Memorial?

I would hope that none of these people were Baltimoreans. If so, it is a sad, profound blemish for our city when we should otherwise be celebrating our unique place in history. Who has what authority to protect, conserve, and honor this memorial with the unquestioned respect it demands?

Len Caro, Baltimore