I appreciated the commentary by Thomas Barrett ("A distorted view of Russia," Feb. 16). I have been very disappointed by America's media and it's sensationalized reporting on the Sochi Olympics. Russians have a long and complex history with many struggles and also triumphs. It is tragic that our county's leaders and media are widely ignorant of the history of other nations.

My late father, a World War II combat veteran, could have told you all about Russians. In 1945, he was rescued by Russian forces after his B-24 bomber was shot down over Hungary.

Let us never forget that our country stood shoulder to shoulder with Russians in our mutual struggle and victory over fascism. An incredible 28 million Russians were killed during World War II. This was the most war casualties ever suffered by any country in history. There was no family in Russia that did not feel the pain of that war.

The original history of the Olympics shows there was an "Olympic truce" that existed one week prior, during, and one week after, the games were played. Regions throughout Greece put aside their differences and conflicts during this truce period. We need to return to this noble Olympic history.

The petty bashing of Russians over small glitches in Sochi reminds me of rude grade school bullies. My second grade teacher used to tell the bullies, "Zip up your mouth, lock it, and throw away the key."

Let the light of the Olympic torch shine. Congratulations to Russia on hosting a beautiful and memorable Olympic Winter Games!

John Meinhold, Portsmouth, N.H.

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