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Renaming Columbus monument to honor police violence victims is a poor choice | READER COMMENTARY

An obelisk monument honoring Christopher Columbus located near the intersection of Harford Road and Walther Avenue in Baltimore was damaged in 2017. File.
An obelisk monument honoring Christopher Columbus located near the intersection of Harford Road and Walther Avenue in Baltimore was damaged in 2017. File. (Pamela Wood/Baltimore Sun)

Personally, I believe the Baltimore Police Department deserves an apology from members of the Baltimore City Council for even considering renaming the obelisk monument dedicated to Christopher Columbus in Herring Run Park as the Police Violence Victims Monument (”George Washington monument in Druid Hill Park spray-painted with ‘destroy racists,’ anti-police sentiment,” June 21). I see it as an affront to the more than 99% of the men and women who respond 24/7 on our behalf for yet another senseless shooting, drug activity, dog bites, family feuds, etc. As we are all aware, some of them are seriously injured in the process.

Yes, a name change is long overdue. It’s a no-brainer, but this proposed name change needs to be deleted. The enlightened among us have got the message loud and clear. Change is at hand. Having said so, kindly allow this 88-year-old dinosaur to offer some advice to you young ones who are leading the charge: It’s going to happen. But I have news for you. It’s not going to happen overnight. I know, I know, you want it yesterday. That’s not the way our democratic process works. I know what it is to be your age. Hopefully, you’ll reach my stage in life one day with reasonably good health and the love of a wonderful family.

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I moved to Baltimore with my then young family 58 years ago and have lived in the same house in New Northwood since then. I became a community activist from day one. I’ve experienced my share of scary moments along the way. I’ve also been witness to many changes in my community. At the risk of sounding boastful, my track record speaks for itself. I suggest we all take a deep breath, relax and begin doing some serious soul searching.

As for Councilman Ryan Dorsey’s proposed monument name change, I suggest he take a leisurely 40 or 50 mile bike ride and then withdraw his name change resolution. A personal mea culpa to the police force might also be in order.

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Kenneth J. Desmarais, Baltimore

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