My wife and I recently visited the Grand Canyon in Arizona and the memorial to those who died in a plane crash near Shanksville, Pa., on 9/11.
Each of these places has its own beauty and meaning. The natural beauty of the Grand Canyon is indescribable. The 9/11 memorial, with its marble and granite, evokes memories of the courage shown by the heroes who voluntarily gave their lives to save others on that tragic day.
Unfortunately, the beauty of the Grand Canyon and the reverence of the 9/11 memorial were marred by the presence of tobacco butts strewn about.
At the canyon, one can ride buses, which have stops at viewing spots. Even though cigarette butt receptacles were provided at the bus stops, there were still butts on the ground at nearly all the stops.
I propose that smoking be banned at all of our national parks and memorials. Such a ban would protect visitors from toxic tobacco chemicals in the air, eliminate the cigarette butt filth and save money by eliminating the need for butt receptacles and cleanup.
John O’ Hara, Bowie
The letter writer is president of Maryland Group Against Smoker’s Pollution.