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If not boxing, how about gold stars to honor those lost to city violence?

Marvin McDowell, president and founder of UMAR Boxing and Youth Development Center, talks about his idea of young men boxing in the ring as a means of reducing street violence. (Kevin Richardson, Baltimore Sun video)

I was around 10 years old when World War II was getting underway. Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young's suggestion about boxing reminded me that my young chums and I used to wonder why world leaders couldn't just duke out their differences in the boxing ring instead of going to war ("Young suggests boxing bouts to settle street beefs," June 6). Looking back at history, I can see how just how naive were were!

But here's another idea from the era for today's Baltimore that might not be so naive. During the war, families who lost sons and daughters displayed small gold star banners in their front windows. My aunt and uncle, the Katzenbergs, displayed one for their son, Bernie, Jr., a captain in an engineers' battalion who was killed in Italy. I am wondering if there would be a salutary effect if Baltimore families who have lost sons and daughters to violence on our streets displayed gold star banners in their front windows. I don't know, but it could.

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Herman M. Heyn, Baltimore

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