Frick’s dishonor

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On Feb. 5, Dr. Amesh Adalja wrote that he, as an infectious disease physician, honors the achievements of Dr. Jonas Salk but realizes that Henry Clay Frick and Andrew Carnegie are unequivocally worthy of emulation and honor as well (“A Fitting Tribute”).

Dr. Adalja, I agree with you that Dr. Salk is meritorious of honor and emulation. It is a known fact that Dr. Salk, in the quest for his achievements, left behind no fatal casualties. No one was harmed, and people worldwide benefited because of his accomplishments.

The same thing cannot be said of Henry Clay Frick and Andrew Carnegie. In their quest for wealth, 10 men (seven workers and three Pinkerton detectives) were killed at Homestead, simply because the workers yearned for better working conditions. Should the next of kin of the 10 killed consider honoring them?

Also, the quest for wealth contributed to the death of a beautiful, 3-year-old girl named Ada in January 1920 in the coal mining town of Ronco, Fayette County. Although Frick died in 1919, his mining operation owned all the so-called company homes. The miners were on strike for better working conditions. The miners, including a couple with three children ages 3, 6 and 9, were evicted from their homes. Their furniture was forcefully put on the snow-covered road. The couple with three children and many other couples slept in tents for many weeks. Without proper heating in the tent, the icy winter took its toll and little, beautiful Ada succumbed to pneumonia and died. Dr. Adalja, Ada was my sister.

Honoring Henry Clay Frick translates to dishonoring little Ada Del Signore.


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