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Nixon's accomplishments shouldn't be forgetten

To the editor: Though I don't take issue with Doyle McManus' account of how Richard Nixon's shadowy side contributed to the downfall of his presidency (especially with much of it captured on tape), I believe that even Nixon has a chance at redemption by history. ("What's the secret of Nixon's unpopularity?," Column, Aug. 9)

I will always be personally grateful for the cease-fire he brokered with North Vietnam in 1973 to bring a halt to the war. At the time, I was stationed on a Navy ship that had sustained combat damage and casualties in 1972, and we were on our way back for a second deployment when Nixon announced the cease-fire.

As a child in the 1950s, I lived through air-raid drills to prepare us to survive a nuclear war with the Soviet Union. Our relationship with "Red China" was frozen in hostility. As McManus notes, Nixon broadened the dialogue with Russia and broke new ground with China.

It is possible to change the course of history for the better. Thank you, Mr. President.

Gerome Torribio, Pomona

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