Ray Lewis was great but city parade goes too far

What am I missing here? I am completely befuddled by Mayor Catherine Pugh’s announcement that the city will be celebrating Ray Lewis’ induction into to the National Football League’s Hall of Fame with a parade (“Baltimore to hold parade to honor Ravens’ Hall of Famer Ray Lewis on Sept. 22,” Sept. 12).

Huh? With Baltimore suffering so many financial woes caused by mismanagement and irresponsible decisions, can the municipality really afford such an unnecessary celebration? I wonder how the students and teachers in city schools feel about needless money spent as they attempt to learn in buildings with sweltering heat. I, too, wonder how police officers and firemen who on a daily basis place their lives on the line in one of the most dangerous cities in these United States can begin to rationalize Mayor Pugh’s irrational decision. Would not these brave men and women be far more worthy of financial recognition for their thankless efforts than a celebration for any professional athlete?

As a season ticket holder since Baltimore’s return to the NFL, I fully appreciate Mr. Lewis’ accomplishments on the gridiron and his contributions to Charm City. However, there are innumerable ways in which the money being spent for a parade could be more wisely used. How many potholes could be filled? How many more children could be fed? How many worthy city workers could be compensated in a more generous fashion? And on and on.

Festivities have been scheduled at M&T Bank Stadium on September 23 to commemorate Ray Lewis’ commendable career as a Baltimore Raven. To this lifelong fan, I fervently believe that this recognition should suffice. I, for one, wish that the mayor and other leaders would come to the realization that the needs of a hurting city are far more important than an acknowledgement for any one individual.

Christopher Cheswick, Taneytown

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