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Evaluating the Five Centuries Since Columbus

In the Opinion page article "Looking Back - Latin America's Burden," Feb. 12, the author describes the Latin American indifference which meets the 500th anniversary of Columbus's "momentous event of 1492." He refers to Latin America but reveals attitudes and situations analogous to those in North America and elsewhere.

These last 500 years have been an essential time for the introduction of cultures to each other, and for the establishment of vocabularies of communication based on common experience.

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Now, foundations of a new order are rising from the effects of this reassociation of cultures with common roots 10,000 or 20,000 years old. Sentiments derived from the association of European and native Americans, once thought impossible in Europe, are contained in the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution.

Now is the time to meet those around us. The American continents have provided a place. The events of the last 500 years have formed the invitation. Charles Laws, Vineyard Haven, Mass.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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