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Courage and Freedom

April 08, 1988

The Walter Polovchak case--he at age 12 steadfastly refused to return home to the Soviet Union from the United States--shows that courage and conviction are not qualities monopolized by adults ("The Littlest Defector Grows Up" by Wendy Leopold, April 3). A 4-foot, 82-pound youngster stubbornly stood up to Soviet political pressure and his parents' wishes.

A person doesn't have to be a political genius or an aged oracle to realize that freedom in the United States is a better deal than the confined, totalitarian system in the Soviet Union.

I hope the youth in this country emulate his example in order to stand up to and oppose equally terrifying menaces: gangs and drugs. American youngsters have a choice as Walter had a choice. The only question is whether they have his strong will and unshakable courage. Our youths only have to stand up to a few individuals; Walter had to stand up to a powerful country.

KENNETH L. ZIMMERMAN

Cypress

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