History will do justice

`` 'Tis distance lends enchantment to the view'' of Thomas V. DiBacco in a recent column comparing the Colonial postal system with the modern US Postal Service. While we support his clear hindsight of Benjamin Franklin's accomplishments, we think a historian 210 years hence will see America's present postal system in a favorable light. He would comment that postal employees delivered 131 billion pieces of mail in 1984. Perhaps the historian will recognize that 22 cents' postage for a first-class letter is a minuscule portion of earnings today when compared with postage in Colonial times.

Hopefully, the historian will live in a democracy that considers a universal system -- one that charges the same rate for letters sent to urban or rural areas -- a buttress to a unified nation. He may even see poetry in the federal law that says, ``The Postal Service shall . . . bind the Nation together,'' just as Benjamin Franklin's tenure as first head of the nation's postal system did so much to unite the first 13 states.

Today, letters travel coast to coast in three days. Ninety-five percent of stamped first-class mail committed to overnight delivery arrives on time. We sort mail for 235 million Americans and make 90.7 million deliveries six days a week. Benjamin Franklin might have marveled at this, but Mr. DiBacco's asperous comments on modern postal service would not have surprised him. As Franklin observed: ``We must not in the course of public life expect immediate grateful acknowledgment of our service. But let us

persevere . . . and time will do us justice. . . .'' David McLean, General Manager News Division, US Postal Service Washington

I am incensed at the article ``NOW regroups to maintain its force for feminism'' (July 24), not because of content but because of location in the Home & Family section. No wonder women have difficulty with credibility. Political conventions belong in the front section. Julia Lapham, President National NOW CR Committee Chesterfield NOW, Va.

[Ed. note: A NOW convention news story appeared on page 3 on July 22.]

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