A Positive Answer and Thank You
to the Call of SOS
in Forest Glen-Silver Spring Maryland Near Our Nation's Capital
The National Park Seminary Historic District
(Save Our Seminary - http://saveourseminary.org)
7/30/2001 (A Day Before the 7/31 first County Council Meeting on this issue)
Open Letter To: The Heroic and Visionary
Men and Women of the Staff of SOS,
http://saveourseminary.org 301-495-9079,301-654-3924 email@example.com
Montgomery County Maryland County Executive and Council
Mr. Doug Duncan, Mrs. Duncan and the Duncan Family
301-240-777-2500 email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Montgomery County Council and their Spouses and Families
301-240-7900 email@example.com (member name emails in Civic Necessities section below)
All Maryland Women and Girls AND
All Maryland Men and Boys who Love and Respect Women and Girls
Citizens of the local/global community that overlooks our nation's capital
- Forest Glen, Silver Spring, Maryland, USSA and everywhere
RE: Saving Our Seminary, Montgomery
County and Much More
** The Question and Call for SOS
** The Necessary and Inevitable Answer YES of Shared Vision - RISE, including online global community E-discussion at http://www.theglobe.com/forums, for use by SOS and all concerned citizens.
** The 6 Immediate Civic Necessities (act now but don't get intimidated by deadlines without adequate public notice/representation)
** A Long Range Vision for Forest Glen
** The Forest Glen History
** The Method and the Plan
** Our Sacred Civic Future
The Question and Call for SOS
DOES MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND, HAVE A WILL AND VISION FIT FOR A NEW MILLENNIUM? The success of SOS - SAVE OUR SEMINARY, assisted by RISE and many others, WILL HELP US FIND OUT...Let Us All, female and male, rediscover ourselves again...locally and globally visioning together for the first time about something of unique grace, importance, inspiration and history.
The Necessary and Inevitable Answer YES, and a Place to Share Online Support, including the All Rise for Forest Glen E-discussion Which RISE has established at http://www.theglobe.com/forums, as a meeting place for SOS and all concerned citizens
Montgomery County Residents and Local and Global Friends Nationally and Worldwide resound an affirmative YES of both Spirit and Practical Planning to Save Our Seminary (The National Park Seminary Historic District). It, and We have risen and will continue to RISE with the whole community that is our county, our nation, and our world of females and males learning and growing in mutual civic respect, in a new Millennial sacred civic partnership of wisdom and knowledge for ourselves, our families and children of all ages. RISE supports the interim solutions being sought by SOS, and also offers and invites additional visions, plans, ideas and suggestions, some of which are offered in this letter.
The new "All Rise for Forest Glen" online discussion area, at http://www.theglobe.com/forums (look under Society and Culture, then Issues and Causes and scroll to topic) which RISE has begun in honor of SOS, will be informed by the knowledgeable people and work of SOS. This is a place to cc. letters you have sent or will be sending to any Montgomery County and other area officials, and any others nation or worldwide you correspond with about this issue. We have already posted this letter, and sample letters from the SOS site, in the http://www.theglobe.com forums Issues and Causes discussion area. You should also send copies of your letters to other online discussion forums in your area, from local church, synagogue, temple and community issue forums, to worldwide internet mailing lists on education, women's history and education, women and men's cooperation, civic spirit and philanthropy, and community activism, and internet newsgroups such as alt.community,activism, soc.women. soc.culture.usa. We have emailed the officials, supporters and online groups mentioned in this letter. Anyone can copy this letter for similar use.
The 6 Immediate Civic Necessities - Act now, and don't get intimated by deadlines set by inadequate public respresentation
1. Doug Duncan and the County Council and our nation and world, will publicly state and recognize the invaluable contribution of SOS and other supporters to the spirit and future of Montgomery County. Duncan and SOS will draft a joint statement that affirms: it is necessary, immediately announced and a great privilege for the County to Accept, Steward, and Restore this land and its wondrous buildings, statues, paths and groves, and all the gifts it will bring to our county, in a context of worldwide local/global stewardship, friendship and cooperative assistance. We invite the council to be joined by spouses and children in making this statement in a press conference. Duncan will apologize for his recent confusion on this important issue - to err is human, to forgive, divine.
2. If there is any further rumor or threat that this land will not be accepted, stewarded and protected by Montgomery County, Mr. Duncan, Council and SOS will conjointly schedule public 3-4 major public hearings on the issue. One hastily scheduled meeting with no public notice via local newspapers is totally insufficient. (If 3-4 public hearings are not agreed to by officials, we suggest SOS and other citizens can independently schedule watchdog shadow-public hearings in schools, religious centers, and community centers near Forest Glen, on the issue, and invite local and global community, including any County officeholders who need to listen and attend. The Forest Glen online discussion mentioned above can also be used to post online hearing announcements, other events and proceedings, and links to the SOS website where such information is already available in context of a very moving and beautiful presentation.)
3. At public hearings, part of the discussion will include Mr. Duncan's expected-to-come, insightful and always welcome and wise simple acknowledgement that as a white male, he alone was initially handicapped in his ability to decide on the fate of this land in which women's history is so central and minority history is also importantly present and in need of restoration and preservation. Discussions will also include formally addressing the fact that the Council has only a token level of representation, 2 women present amidst 8 men (only one who is a racial minority and also a male), thus also making it a body clearly insufficient to decide the issue alone without concerted, major outreach and significant public input and local civic and democratic processes, such as numerous public hearings and referendum if necessary. The County population is about 1/2 female, both white and minority and most of the other 1/2 love and care about females and their history in this area, nation and in the world. These people have not been respected well in the hopefully few recent county public official moments of negativity, foot-dragging, and lack of enthusiasm, concern, and local civic pride and stewardship in an area that claims to be high-tech and a global presence.
If need be, Montgomery County women and men all deserve and may insist on a county-wide (gender balanced and minority inclusive) referendum on this issue if there is any threat to the community protection and stewardship of Forest Glen, which is first and foremost a monument to women's history, and also had history dating back to slavery and referring to native American heritage. If needed, a Referendum to endorse the RISE of Forest Glen would be celebratory and groundbreakingly appropriate, especially because that spirit, the spirit of informed citizenry of both sexes and all heritages working together in equality instead of separately or unequally and at cross purposes, will fulfill the 21st century promise and destiny of Forest Glen that was a latent promise in its earlier stages, when our nation was more sociallly divisive and ill-informed. The matter of Forest Glen concerns the issue of women's once segregated and unequal, now mainstreamed full voice representation in both education and government as full partners to men; it also offers important aspects to honor slaves' history and native American history for a global context, in a spirit of shared overcoming, more informed perspective, and mutual benefit. Executive and Council Emails:
County Executive Doug Duncan
Blair Ewing firstname.lastname@example.org
Isiah Leggett email@example.com
Steve Silverman Steven.Silverman@co.mo.md.us
Michael L. Subin firstname.lastname@example.org
Howard A. Denis Councilmember.Denis@co.mo.md.us
Nancy Dacek email@example.com
Phil Andrews firstname.lastname@example.org
Marilyn J. Praisner email@example.com
Derick Berlage firstname.lastname@example.org
RISE suggests that Maryland's Top 100 Women - http://www.top100women.com select 100 Top Men to join them in a gender equal oversight of the plans and progress for Forest Glen's RISE, and copies of this open letter have been sent to these 100 women, as well as national and international friends and forums. The oversight body should also include Senator Paul Sarbanes, who has worked to preserve Forest Glen over many years, as well as Senator Barbara Mikulski, and Congresswoman Connie Morella, and the heads of women's studies at Montgomery College as well as concerned male faculty, and women and men top teachers and librarians at Montgomery Public Schools and Libraries, whose presences are important in representing women and remembering women's history and education as a benefit to men and women, and to informed civic life. Also included should be a female and male representatives of the Maryland Parks and Planning Commission. This email is being sent to all these people.
4. An Immediate and Necessary Official, SOS assisted Publication/Newsletter, online and by mail, About Forest Glen, to national and worldwide bodies with special interest in the matter: UN's WomenWatch, ngos and other international bodies concerned about the preservation of women's educational history, as well as the preservation of the unique world architecture which demonstrates international and globally unifying aspects of this land and its buildings, such as its Pagoda, English Castle, Italian Villa, Hacienda, Bavarian Inn, Greek Temples, Aloha House, statue of a native American and other uniquely gathered international building styles and references brought together with such great beauty at Forest Glen. Organizations devoted to restoring slave history and quarters should also be notified to insure that the old slave quarters are rebuilt, and contributions about Maryland women and men slaves and freemen and freewomen, as well as Maryland native Americans and their descendants should receive special inclusion in memorials on the grounds of Forest Glen, so it can be a truly rising and educational site for all Maryland women and men, inclusive of all races.
This newsletter is a natural outgrowth of what SOS has already done, and can be initiated by SOS, and can be co-supported by the County as soon as the County comes to its senses. The list to receive such an online newsletter should American Association of University Women, organizations of female executives, women's and minorities studies professors, and lists of historic colleges and men and women deans who will understand the context of the National Historic Seminary District to women and men of the future, and will work with male and female deans of universities around the nation and world to support the reclamation, rise, and restoration with a 21st century inclusive consciousness, of Forest Glen.
Doug Duncan and the County Council and Maryland Government have already in the not very recent past significantly recognized the importance of Forest Glen (see Duncan's year 2000 statements for Maryland's Millennium Commission about Forest Glen, at http://www.co.mo.md.us/news/media/99-125ma.html and http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/2000-04/27/0931-042700-idx.html These statements should be reprinted in the newsletter, and linked from the SOS site. Now we ALL RISE and share to help county, district, state and other officials to remember such statements, answer SOS, and usher Forest Glen into a fulfillment of its humanity and destiny for the 21st century.
5. Front page stories and a special supplement in local newspapers and other regional national newspapers on Forest Glen, including the photos contributed by SOS. A good local newspaper will strive to focus well on such an important issue of history and civic pride and spirit, (if it did not local readersship might drop, and concerned advertisers may seek other sources for disseminating information). We were deeply concerned that the July 31 Council/Parks and Planning meeting was not mentioned in the Community Calendar or any where else in Gazette, and assume that neither officials and newspaper editors will neither want to give the impression that this issue is being handled without adequate detail and responsible notice to the public by public officials and the journalist community. Write to the Gazette at email@example.com, and to the Montgomery Journal and Washington Post on line and by mail.
6. Finally, a word about deadlines. If a major "decision"is being made without your legitimate input and without appropriate ethical, historical and spiritual conscientious notice to the local and global interested public, it isn't really a meaningful deadline. Deadlines must be set by knowledgeable public, not on them in order to keep them from participating. In the bad old days, women and people of color used to say that the rules were set by "Them/The Man". Thankfully, those days of oppression and division are, we hope and believe, over. As long as a spirit of love for Forest Glen exists, it can be restored, rebuilt and reclaimed. Such a symbolic setting is connected to infinite and caring Spirit, something far stronger than a bureaucratic clock, and our only hurry need be to commitedly and calmly assert, share and raise consciousness as a community, and restore this place to the benefit and enjoyment of all.
A Long Range Vision for Forest Glen
A Local and Global Intergenerational "Local/Global High Tech Mini-Civic University Setting, a "Gleniversity" for Women...and Men, of All Ages, to Remember, Cherish and Learn. It will be supported by local government and universities, as well as national and international gifts. It can be called Forest Glen Local and Global Community Civic Spirit University or "Forest Gleniversity" for "short", incorporating words that signify nature, unity/community and learning coming together.
The theme will be the successul and ongoing intergenerational local and global journey of boys and girls into men and women, as life-long learners and equals, TOGETHER on a shared ground for partnerships of intergenerational and age appropriate learning, values, community, love for family, respectful balance in gender (male and Female), age and multi-heritage balance and sharing and friendship in cooperation, creatvity and progress.
The slave quarters will be restored, dedicated and commemmorated. A native American structure or exhibit will also be included, referring to the young "HIAWATHA" statue that stands on the property, and which should be companioned by a young native American princess statue that can be completed by a local or international sculptor. All Forest Glen buildings will be completely restored (or rebuilt to look like the originals) as a center "model" of 21st century global lifelong and timeless recreation, learning, and health. Its facilities will be variously scheduled for: the school age and younger with families/chaperones, the college and university students with professors, the actively learning over 60, and intergenerational learning activies and heritage sharing.
The specific uses of its multi-heritage and international style buildings will include: A local/global live and special screening theater with audio-visual links to area schools and participating universities around the world with a mix of free and special fee for ticket showings, a best methods teaching minigymnasium, a best methods teaching mini-natatorium, a best methods teaching libary/internet facility linked to the Montgomery Public Libraries, the Library of Congress and all others by internet (the still standing Miller Library, enhanced for the 21st century), a local/global multi-heritage community and family center with photo and art gallery with special showings assisted by local world-class historians genealogists (the Montgomery County Historical Society, the National Archives, the Kensington Family Life Center, and other historians and genealogists in this area can provide assistance), multiuse classrooms (some for children, some for adults) with internet links and state of the art audio visual learning equipment, a concert hall with orchestra pit and choir steps and balconies and master classroom, a planetarium. a teaching horticultural/arboral center assisted by the staff of Brookside Gardens, a weather, earth sciences and ecology demonstration classroom assisted by nearby NOAA, a longevity vitality center with reading materials on the importance of habits of lifelong learning to mental and physical health with men's and women's health and mental health/ wellness resources, and a cafeteria dining room (for onsite visitors only.)
The Intergenerational Gleniversity will establish liasons locally and worldwide and at the UN and many other organizations, to attract award-winning teachers, professors, businesspeople, artists, musicians, and researchers etc. who can schedule visiting stays of one-week to three months if they will teach as well as learn. Dormitories will be restored for the use of enrolled visiting university students selected on merit with equal numbers of males and females from as many nations and disciplines as possible, and some time/share condos/hotel for staff, which should be for both local and visiting award winning teachers, professors and Chataqua speakers from around the world, with women and men in equal number, and their families. This inn of global honoraria can involve some fee, unless participating universities around the nation and world defray the costs. In keeping with the history of some of its past founders, Forest Glen will be used as an International Interdisciplinary Chatauqua for teachers, professors and university deans and their families. At least once per week, the visiting faculty will offer a lecture or a panel (balanced male and female and internationally diverse) presentation for the local community, which is already one of the most educated and heritage diverse in the world. This will be truly local/global education, exchange, informed visioning, and inspiration, and will heighten the cooperation of high educational and local community for best methods and interdisciplinary public service to all generations worldwide. Montgomery County Schools are among the best in the nation, and many excellent private schools and universities, from Gallaudet to Howard to U MD, American, Catholic, and many others can lend assistance.
With the exception of staff and perhaps visitng dignitaries, all transport in will be on foot or by lite rail/shuttle to create minimal problems for surrounding neighborhoods. Forest Glen will be linked to Glen Echo, which can be restored as a family recreational extension, as its name implies, and can also have shuttles to the Library of Congress, National Archives, NOAA, NASA, the world genealogy libary in Kensington, and special tours can be scheduled to the Frederick Douglass House, the Clara Barton Home, historic DC, and other locations of special importance to Maryland, especially its women and men as equal and valued partners in education, and families.
Again, it can be called The Forest Glen Integenerational Community Local/Global Mini-University or Forest Gleniversity for short, and should have firm linkages with all Universities in the metropolitcan area, as well as all major world universities, and an ongoing liason to the Montgomery County Public Schools. All Montgomery County Residents should all be entitled to 4 free or low fee full day visits per year (one per season) which should be arranged by advance ticketing on a first come first serve basis. Additional visits, and personal/family visits by non-county residents will require a higher fee. Reservations for these paid day visits should be made at least one week in advance by ticket purchase of $10 per adult and $5 per child, with special or, in case of speical need, complementary group rates for chaperoned school age children from the metro area, and at least one international student group, and one senior group visit per month. All transportation should be by shuttle from Metro stops, and parking must be arranged. The fees will be used to assist an ongoing basic maintenance fund. Additional fundraising techniques for the actual restoration are described below.
A Detailed History of Forest Glen is available at: http://www.saveourseminary.org
The trees and wildlife preceded human enjoyment of Forest Glen. Its first human visitors/inhabitants were certainly native Americans of the region. The first wood/brick dwellings were for colonials and slaves. None of the first human inhabitations stand today (the Army bulldozed the some of these historic remains in 1960 to make space for a commissary, but they can easily be rebuilt). The first historic still standing building built at Forest Glen, the Inn, was meant to be an Inn of welcome and family retreat for Washingtonians sick of their pressures. It was started by a small group of planful gentlemen, looking to build a resort/recreational lodge-hotel that would be attractive to families who lived in and near, or wanted to visit, the nation's capital. That entrepreneurial daring was the first step, but this land, in it's spirit, was apparently not meant for such limited or private/profit-oriented use envisioned by men alone. As it did not turn a profit, within a year or two, these gentlemen sold the land for use by a woman's seminary, a place of the spirit of learning and service.
As the woman's seminary, the land began to achieve its international and educational welcoming flavor and glory, (even though it was built when women could not vote, virtually none held political office, law degrees, graduate degrees or medical degrees, as such achievement was still barred to most women, even women of the major American industrialist families that sent their daughters to Forest Glen) Incorporating designs from the World Columbian Exhibition of Chicago in 1893, many buildings - the Pagoda, the Swiss Chalet, the English Castle, the Italianate villa, the Hispanic Hacienda, were added to bring an international and global awareness to the sight and minds of the young women being educated there, even though society then generally regarded women as 'the second sex'. Yet, as some progress on women's issues began to be made in education in the 1920's, and as women were mainstreamed (although they yet remained grossly unequal in professorships and student-status, and post graduation career plans at most American schools) the Seminary began again to attract fewer students, who were also impacted the the Depression. Women in the Washington DC closest suburb of Montgomery County, like those of the nation and all nations, continued to suffer enormous barriers compared to men, but the safe haven of Forest Glen stood in evocative potential of grace and potential/eventual equality, as women, and men who loved them, and their children, continued the struggle for gender and racial equality and human liberation via education on all fronts.
During the Depression, new leadership at Forest Glen began to take women's education even more seriously, and as an even more pressing need for our nation, and during the years just before World War II, the Seminary again began to attract more and more women. (Of course this was still long before the women's liberation and the civil rights social awareness movements of the 1960's). But with the advent of World War II, the land was reluctantly "given over", when appropriated by the Army, for another purpose. In a way, even this purpose, as a part of Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital, was a purpose of peace even for the army which took over the land. From then until the present, Forest Glen was used as a hospital and recovery center for wounded soldiers, again, in a sense, a haven of peace, if even brief, for men. Thus, it was appropriated to add a little office and bed space for the Army, which remained mostly male and war-oriented in mission and active membership. But the Army culture had little energy or emphasis on maintaining the beauty and grace of the setting, and while it was of some utility to This Man's Army of the 40's-60's, deterioration began on the globally-flavored buildings and statues. An ironic but perhaps predictable failure of the Cold-War preoccupied men's army of those times to preserve internationally-flavored buildings, some decorated with portico statues of young women in graceful Grecian drapery!
Under the Army Hospital rubric, like the buildings themselves, the land seemed caught in an ironic contradiction, rather than integration, of its original civil, recreational, educational and peaceful heritages and intent. Perhaps under the archetypal strain of such contradiction in mission and spirit, the buildings, like perhaps some war-wounded, including VietNam veterans, remained emotionally shocked and wounded, and were not yet ready for a full civilian life recovery and vital aspects of a local/global community and family life capable of full and international connection and peace. The decay, the "battering by neglect", if you will, was allowed to continue with little opportunity to combine the civil, men and women's history, and multi-heritage international flavor together with a spirit of true equality, educational enlightenment, peace and cooperation.
Now, that step, both spiritual and physical, is for the men and women and children of Montgomery County to steward together on behalf of their local community, their nation and the world. The next step for the seminary must not be any use that fails to fit its original and idyllic, natural and peaceful spirit. Instead, it should reflect the hard won gains of equality and freedom to learn of women and men together with joy, lifelong learning and vitality in peace, in connection with all the world, community and family.
The Methods and the Plan
What do we have practically to help us all achieve this goal for Forest Glen:
1. Montogomery County is one of the wealthiest counties in this or any nation, It is also one of the most internet linked areas in the world, and officially claims to have achieved global as well as local leadership and ability. Therefore, MC and Save Our Seminary will use easily accessible internet listings for its residents to reach them all on this issue, and utilize modern computer equipment to inform them rapidly as needed. This message has already likely been read by thousands of women and men around the world.
2. SOS and MC will establish an international, global mailing list of powerful allies potential donors in this wonderful matter:
a. American/World Association of University Professors
b. Descendants, CEOs, including highest ranking women, of industrialist or philanthropist families/organizations whose daughters attended Forest Glen.
c. The American/World Association of University Women
d. Every man and women dean of students across the nation, and at the largest universities (top 3) in every nation.
e. Student Council Presidents at all American and worlds leading Universities.
f. Every Phi Beta Kappa
g. National Honor Societies of every high school in the county, metro-area and nationally and internationally.
h. The American/World Architectural Associations
i. Curators of Wonders of the World/Living Museums
j. Leaders who have worked for the education of men and women as intellectual, political and spiritual equals and partners
k. Every organization that might want to have the men and women of its history highlighted in rotating photo, art and museum exhibits. or hold meetings in the Chataqua, which will be Internet broadcast as well as broadcast on all MC cable stations.
i. Women and men in the high tech sector who have focused on community and education, such as Carly Fiorina and Steve Wozniak
j. Local real estate, construction and local/globa architectural firms and organizations.
i. County, national and international library associations
k. Others suggested by this vision.
We suggest that MC and SOS immediately plan and cosponsor an internet/televised town meeting celebrating the fulfillment and stewardship of Forest Glen (broadcast under all local cable, i.e. MC, Rockville, Takoma Park) at the Seminary or, if need be, at a private home once owned by the Seminary and within walking distance of the Seminary. The following are suggestions of who must be invited to public internet hearing about men and women's education for caring for community in a new millennium with Forest Glen as a model. and suggest they appear best in pairs of male and female,(much as is done in the Oscar ceremonies, and each participant given award on the SOS Web pages. A list of special guest local, state, national and global invitees has been submitted to SOS, including the top 100 Maryland women and men mentioned above, and
Joan Brown Campbell (New York
Chatagua) and John Anderson (Internationalists who will appreciate the
buildings of Forest Glen)
Oscar Arias Sanchez (who has worked for the university education of women for global consciousness in Costa Rica and worldwide)
Carly Fiorina, Hewlett-Packard CEO and other women in computing.
Barbara Streisand/James Brolin (in the name of Yentl)
Ken Burns, with an invitation to make a movie about Forest Glen
Maya Angelou and other great poets, male and female
Equal numbers of female and male Nobel Prize Winners
Also invited to participate must be:
Current Montgomery Schools PResident Healy and Top woman Exec,
Senators Barbara Mikulski and Paul Sarbanes.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, her daughters and their husband
Other women's justice specialists
Women Governors and Senators and Men Governmors and Senators who have assisted the improvement of all education for men and women.
Anyone who cannot come in person can be included easily using quite affordable internet techiques.
The County Council and Executive, and all Maryland and DC metro College Deans, etc. shall be invited guests.
Others who you, the reader, will suggest.
4. Montgomery County restaurants, some of the busiest and most internationally diverse in the nation, can hold offer special deals that further increase their traffic and donate a portion to a Forest Glen fund; i.e. Oriental restaurants can display a picture of the Pagoda, Mexican and Spanish of the Hacienda, Continental of the Castle and Chalet, etc. Other businesses can also join in. The more widespread the collection in the community, the more powerful our pride in our achievement as a community will be.
5. Montgomery County Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, can do special cookie collections, as acts of self-esteem, and chivalry, and have representative seats at the round table in the English Castle. It will be fun, and help them connect to the important social history of our region, as well as timeless world his-herstory. They can also dedicate a special fund for the native American boy and girl (to be added) youth statues, for example.
Our Sacred Civic Future
Yes, we in Montgomery County are fit for the new Millennium, and we will indeed show this, as a timeless, thinking and feeling community rising to the challenge, to Save Our Forest Glen Seminary and insure its timeless future as the rightful heritance of a community local and global. Montgomery County will show to the world what miracles can happen when a highly educated whole community acts currently and locally but thinks intergenerationally, globally and intelligently, and is able to think and love with vision, preserving what is most valuable in our past as well as sustaining what is most important to our and our children's future. We have so many resources at our disposal. We need only call them, and they will come.
Enchanted Forest Glen, the National Park Seminary Historic District, is the perfect metaphor for what did go wrong in the local and global past, and what must be and will be put right. Forest Glen is the perfect metaphor for the decay caused by the ignorance of earlier times - of men AND women, of people of diverse heritage, dreaming only in inequality, war, and/or separation, These were half-dreams, not yet whole ones. Now, the reclamation, restoration and rise in the right and whole spirit, of a 21st century of peace, a new Millennial peace - what can and will happen as men and women all dream and learn in equality, in sharing, in peace, in partnership, together, in a whole and integrated vision.
We all must thank Walter Reed Medical Center for keeping Forest Glen at least marginally alive during its great infirmity, the days of inequality of men and women in our nation and our world. And, certainly we must thank in our hearts all its previous owners, its slave workers, its "second sex" women students and its recovering war wounded, who sustained a vision of global peace even against the odds of prejudice, separation, and a lack of international community and preventive peace-making of so much of the 18th-20th centuries.
But now the life of Forest Glen, a life of miraculous endurance and recovery, must move now to fuller health, and become true and peaceful vitality. Thankfully, the days of inequality and unshared vision are ending. Now, the Army/GSA will "sell" it... and it is up to us in Montgomery County, as a vital community to see to it that is released in peaceful freedom and shared community local/global stewardship, to health. Whether we say today's Army or GSA would "sell" it to a bidder, or whether we understand that what is really happening is that it is being set free...released from separation, inequality and war to unity and peace, we RISE to say Montgomery County will RISE and have the heart to dare to steward, in gender equality and unity, as we enter a new century and new Millennium. Certainly such a decision be must not be made on basis of a "best sale" or short-term ideas, but rather the best longterm vision with a practical step by step approach. Time and time again through history, it has been proven that a short-sighted deal will not sustain a community..."where there is no vision, the people perish". But where there is vision, the people thrive.
Duncan and the County Council, we believe, must not err any further; with us as a local and global community, we hope and believe the people of politics will themselves RISE to the occasion, the help of the women and men of SOS and all who care about this issue. Most men and women politicians who are themselves sick to death of the spiritless deal$ of expediency forced upon them by the corruption of our governmental systems by powerful yet short-term thinking special interests, even locally. Even the politicians are ashamed of the lack of women decision-makers in balance to men, and know that the women, and men who love and respect women - their now politically awake daughters, wives, mothers, aunts, and grandmothers of all races who knew such educational barriers during the 19th and 20th Century period of Forest Glen as well as our nation and world, will not forget it at election time if this opportunity for vision and transformation is lost and misused.
This is no longer 1893, 1920, even 1984. Male politicians can no longer act in a cigar-smoke filled moral vacuum but now must face, and cooperate with, the informed female office holder and voter as well as male voter at election times. (and daily in the local supermarket). And who can forget that in the epic poem of Sir Walter Scott, Douglass was saved by the Lady of the Lake of the Scottish Glens, and Frederick Douglass, another Marylander, never forgot that it was the educated women of any day who saved men, as well, from slavery, and indeed chose the name of Douglass to represent that men's freedoms also depend on the wisdom and knowledge of women as full partners. Frederick Douglass was himself the ardent spirit of humanity who assisted Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Seneca Falls Declaration of the right of women to vote with the moral support that is at the basis of this nation's universal suffrage, and Douglass, born a slave and taught to read by a woman disobeying her plantation's rules, was a feminist all his life. Douglas Duncan (and Duncan is also a Scottish name) is ironically placed to heed these hints; and any continued failure to do so becomes that much more noticeable, and certainly is not in his own civic-spiritual interest. He and the men on the council best sooner than later come to understand that real men and brave hearts do not betray women, especially in a state called MaryLand, and cherish the freedom and his-herstory of everyone.
Tens of millions recently saw a TV production called the Mists of Avalon, about the tragedy of an earlier society to honor its tradition of educating women in spirit and with equality. As we consider the Mists of Forest Glen, shouldn't we as a local, nation and global community choose to collectively summon the power of women and men together to part the mists and see the physical as well as civically spirited beauty that is there for us to see for generations to come? Let SOS and our community build a round table to be set within the English castle there, and insure that is is filled with equal numbers of men and women who represent some of the diverse heritages of Montgomery County, one of the most international communities in the world which matches the Forest Glen architecture in its international mix, as a community just outside one of the world's foremost international embassy capitals, Washington DC.
Do you think we can only do this if there is a miracle? Then, live, breathe, medidate one, pray for and plan on a miracle. Brainstorm a a miracle like this one... and realize that the miracles will likely occur because of the spirit we all fell about this TOGETHER.
Is Montgomery County, is America,
is the World Ready?
Of course it is,
We are the world.
We act locally, think globally.
We never stop learning!
(RISE. is not a formal or membership organization; it is an online presence and spiritual sister-and-brother gathering-place of civic-minded and people of spirit in action, to assist and thank SOS. Everyone is invited online to participate in the All Rise for the Glen discussion at http://www.theglobe.com/forums (look under Forums, Society and Culture, Issues and Causes and scroll to the topic) conceived/initiated by RISE and informed by the hard work and research of SOS. This letter is a collection of ideas inspired by people of many neighborhoods and places of business from not only Silver Spring, but also Rockville, Bethesda, College Park, Gaithersburg, Germantown, Greenbelt, Olney, Brookeville and Takoma Park Maryland, as well as Washington DC, and northern Virginia, and others elsewhere in the US and worldwide, and can be copied freely.)