I was delighted to read in "Dr. Gridlock" {Metro, July 24} that Rep. Connie Morella of Maryland has introduced legislation in the House to change the name of the George Washington Memorial Parkway, on the Maryland side of the Potomac, to the "Clara Barton Parkway."

In February, it was announced that John F. Byrne, superintendent of the parkways, would welcome suggestions for a new name because of motorists' confusion over the two roads. At that time I wrote to him recommending this particular change, and the reasons for honoring this great American philanthropist who, in 1881, organized the U.S. branch of the Red Cross and became its first president.

Clara Barton, born in 1821, distributed supplies for the relief of wounded soldiers during the Civil War, assisted in organizing military hospitals in the Franco-Prussian War, helped the poor in Strasbourg, France, during that dreadful time and was awarded the Iron Cross by the German emperor for her efforts.

This remarkable woman brought this country into the Treaty of Geneva and was the author of the American amendment to the constitution of the Red Cross that provided that the Red Cross should distribute relief, not only in war but also in times of other disasters, such as famines, floods, earthquakes, cyclones and pestilence.

She died at her home in Glen Echo on April 12, 1912. Today thousands continue to pay homage and visit her famous residence, which overlooks the Maryland side of the George Washington Parkway. It seems only right, therefore, that this stretch of road should be named after one of our most distinguished Americans. I hope the House Interior and Insular Affairs Committee will see fit to pass this measure.

FIORA JEANNE HOLMES Washington