At the age of 63, I thought I had seen just about everything. But Tuesday's remembrance of Sen. Paul Wellstone left me numb [news story, Oct. 30].

If your mother, father and sister just died in an airplane crash, would you allow a political rally to take over their memorial service?

Something is wrong with the Democratic Party. To its leaders, nothing seems to be more sacred or important than the party.

The whole affair was a lesson in tastelessness. I hear pathetic rhetoric: "He would have wanted it that way." If Paul Wellstone could come back from the dead, I am sure he would have a more somber and noble message for all of us. It was a classless act.

RONALD J. McGINNIS

Washington, Pa.

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It is an embarrassment that members of my Republican Party, led by former House speaker Newt Gingrich, did not exhibit any measure of common courtesy, decency or respect for the late Minnesota Sen. Paul Wellstone [news story, Oct. 28].

Almost immediately upon learning of Sen. Wellstone's death, Mr. Gingrich and others began to engage in rank partisan politics, seeking to discredit the senator's as-yet-unnamed replacement on the ballot and to challenge him to debates.

I was no fan of Sen. Wellstone's ultra-liberal politics, but I was a fan of him personally, believing that he was an exceptionally decent, honorable, respectable and respectful man. He deserved some measure of honor from his political opponents as he lay fallen, awaiting burial.

OREN M. SPIEGLER

Upper St. Clair, Pa.