Editor will be missed
I was so sorry to read of Kenneth Smith’s passing. I met Ken in 1996 as the Virginia Institute for Public Policy was being organized. From our initial meeting, I always valued the time I was able to spend with him. Sometimes, the purpose of our getting together was to discuss a new policy report or Virginia politics. The occasions I remember most fondly, however, were when we would meet at Le Refuge, a small French restaurant in Alexandria, just to discuss ideas or perhaps a book that one of us recently had finished reading.
Kenneth loved ideas, and the breadth of his knowledge was impressive. At lunch, I always made an effort to keep quiet and let him do the talking. First, I wanted to hear what he had to say, and second, I did not want to make it obvious that my own knowledge paled in comparison to his.
In a city where dim lights flaunt their dullness, Kenneth cloaked his brilliance in modesty. He was a clear thinker and a real person. In my personal lexicon, there are no higher accolades.
Yet the virtues I ascribe are of no importance. Of more significance are the descriptions of others that could have applied equally to Ken. As a Christian, he would have known that in the Bible, Abraham is described as the friend of God, and King David was said to be a man after God’s own heart. Though he would have been embarrassed by the comparisons, the same characterizations could have been applied to Kenneth.
That is why, even as we mourn his loss and the fact that we shall miss him, we rejoice in the Apostle Paul’s observation, “To live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
Virginia Institute for Public Policy
Potomac Falls, Va.
Your fine story on the recent death of Ken Smith, while accurate, did not fully express the depth of his character.
Ken was a rarity in the 21st century: a skilled Washington journalist and a devout orthodox Christian. He was at once passionate and compassionate. His passion was truth and common sense. He did not suffer fools gladly, and liars even less so.
Ken’s compassion was evidenced daily. Even in his last weeks, he was far more concerned about the “inconvenience” his illness might cause his friends than his own demise. This was because of his strong Anglican religious convictions. He not only believed in his faith, he lived it. His generosity to his friends and the institutions he served were only manifestations of his essential character.
Finally, and most important, Ken believed in and trusted God. Three weeks before he died and he knew his death was imminent he told me how fortunate and thankful he was for all God had given him.
He was only 44.
Thank you, Ken, for the example of grace.
DONALD E. DEKIEFFER
My condolences on the loss of Ken Smith. I have long admired his writing, especially on how the Environmental Protection Agency seemed more interested in harassing property owners than really protecting the environment. He also was a delightful man to talk to when we met briefly (for the second time) at a Heritage Foundation function last year. His account of a trip to India was fascinating.
Ken will be sorely missed in places far away from the offices of The Washington Times.
Assistant editorial page editor
My sincerest condolences on the passing of Mr. Smith. I always enjoyed reading his articles, and I thank you for sharing them with your readers. He will be missed.
‘Pulpits’ series leaves no room for Orthodox Christian churches
THE REV. ALEXANDER F.C. WEBSTER
Rev. Webster is a parish priest at St. Mary Orthodox Church in Falls Church and a professorial lecturer of philosophy and religion at American University.
Commission yet to recommend reopening Pennsylvania Avenue
The commission established an interagency task force in March to examine the impact of federal security measures around the White House, national memorials and federal buildings in the city’s “monumental core.”
In its ongoing work, the task force has been examining the full range of security and urban design alternatives for Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House permanent opening, permanent closing, tunnels, parks, etc. It has reached no conclusions regarding the future of the street.
The task force expects to transmit its recommendations to the full commission by the end of this month.
RICHARD L. FRIEDMAN
Chairman, Interagency Task Force
National Capital Planning Commission
Brock remains consistent … in seeking ‘fame on the cheap’
Center for Local Government
The Claremont Institute