February 17

Nowhere have I seen the D.C. region’s “tale of two cities” illustrated as clearly as it was on the front of the Feb. 15 Metro section.

One article, “Beloved Anne Arundel sledding hill ‘will be leveled,’ developer says,” described the anger and sadness of children and their parents who are facing the possible demolition of a much-loved sledding hill; in another, “In Alexandria, a winter wonderland of make-believe for kids,” I delighted in the photos of children furnishing forts, assigning snowball-fight allies and making peace for warm cocoa. Below those articles, however, I learned that 8-year-old Makayla Darden is “fighting for her life” after being hit by a stray bullet in Congress Heights [“8-year-old girl is critically wounded by stray bullet in Southeast D.C.”].

Perhaps most telling is how normal it felt to read these articles, how I (and likely many Post readers) have become desensitized to the injustice of a region with such stark disparities in resources, rights and realities. On the same page, we can read about one group of children fighting for the right to play and one group fighting for the right to live, with a detachment and acceptance that is both insidious and dangerous.

Justine Finn, Falls Church