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Patriotism in Beverly Hills

April 27, 1986

What has happened to patriotism in Beverly Hills? Have we become so cynical, so arrogant, so aloof from the real world that the loss of life of two of our airmen should be ignored by the City Council?

Only 24 hours after the downing of one of our aircraft over Libya, the City Council, as an emergency matter, voted 4 to 1 to create a sister-city relationship with Cannes, France. This was done in spite of the following:

(1) There was no emergency as the word is commonly understood.

(2) The resolution was not on the agenda for the council meeting of April 15.

(3) There was no opportunity for input from the residents nor from the business community.

(4) Discussion among the council itself was stifled by the mayor on the grounds that the audience was getting bored and restless.

(5) And most disheartening of all, the action was taken with undue haste and an unseemly disregard of the fact that the French forced our airmen to fly double the distance from England to Libya by refusing permission to overfly France. No one will ever know to what extent the additional strain on the aircraft and men contributed to their deaths. To gloss over and ignore such conduct with a hurried sister-city resolution only 24 hours later is an embarrassment for our city and an insult to those who lost everything.

What really did happen to patriotism in Beverly Hills on the night of April 15?

RICHARD A. STONE

Beverly Hills

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