Despite so many other problems to tackle in the Baltimore region, County Executive Kevin Kamenetz wants to use the controversy over the Confederate battle flag to rename Robert E. Lee Park at Lake Roland ("City, county leaders demand change to address Confederate symbols in Maryland," June 23).

Mr. Kamenetz should keep a few historical facts in mind:


Lee served as a distinguished U.S. Army officer before the Civil War. Asked by President Abraham Lincoln to assume command of Union forces at the start of that conflict, he only rejected the offer when his home state of Virgina seceded.

In 1865, rather than pursue guerrilla warfare, as some urged, Lee chose to surrender at Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia, where Gen. Ullyses S. Grant treated him with sincere deference and respect.

After the surrender, Union officers poured into Lee's camp, hoping to meet their great adversary.

Having lost the family estate in Arlington, which Lee and his wife, a step-great granddaughter of George Washington, had inherited from her father, Lee rejected opportunities to trade on his name with lucrative endorsements and instead accepted the humble offer of Washington College in Lexington, Va., to serve as its president.

Always promoting national reconciliation, Lee modernized the school's curriculum and transformed it into a prominent institution of higher learning. Baltimore has it own fair share of distinguished grads from what later became Washington and Lee University.

Is this legacy not good enough for Mr. Kamenetz?

Carol Randall, Monkton