updated 12/26/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/26/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

If there has been a more tragic figure in our international history, I do not know who it might be. I have followed the fate of Christina Onassis (PEOPLE, Dec. 5) since the death of her father. She was a terribly sad, unloved and undervalued person. I am touched by the obvious love she had for her beautiful daughter. My wish is that all of Christina's friends—if indeed she had any real ones—would make sure that Athina is given the gifts of honesty, laughter and true caring, as well as a sense of reality.
Alice L. Quinn
Sanbounville, N.H.

"Feel sorry for her? Why should I? She had all the money in the world." That is a response I just heard to the death of Christina Onassis. Isn't it pathetic when our society still believes the answer to life's happiness is money? Me? I can only feel sorrow for a woman I never knew. It would seem that all she needed was love and attention while growing up—to learn the value of a buck and be taught to be a human being who believed in herself.
Julie Suzanne Turner
Woodland Hills, Calif.

Christina Onassis—a woman who had the sadness of the world in her eyes. My heart goes out to her beautiful little daughter, Athina.
Kelly Marrapodi

Thank you for the article on a real hero, John Corcoran. It not only shows his great courage but also how the problem of illiteracy creates barriers even to those who appear to overcome them all. I would also like to thank those people like my grandmother, Eleanor Condit, who taught Mr. Corcoran. What would we do without those who give so much of their time?
Lloyd L. Leech IV
San Antonio

Although John Corcoran should be congratulated for the success he made of his life, it is another sad commentary on our present education system. For a total illiterate to get through high school, undergraduate and graduate schools tells me that a lot of people are asleep at the switch.
Donald Beck
Ledyard, Conn.

Thank you for your story on Bill Fero. It touched me and taught me. Though I can't possibly imagine the horror of the Vietnam War as can those who witnessed and lived it firsthand, I admire and respect Bill Fero for his strength in facing his feelings, seeking out his own peace and, as the Bible says, "loving his enemies, and doing good to them."
Denise M. Gillis
El Paso

I was stunned by Bill Fero's remark about American women "not liking" his disability. I am also embarrassed and humiliated to be one of those women. Apparently we are too obsessed with perfection to notice that Mr. Fero's imperfection came from his desire to do what was right for his country. My thoughts are with him, and I wish him much success with the truly momentous task he has undertaken.
Pat M. Smith
Madison, N.C.

Hats off to Pat Morrison and her efforts in the war on drugs. Just when you think the country is going to hell in a handbasket, you read about people like Pat. She made me realize that we can win the war on drugs, but it's going to take a lot of work and a lot of people like Pat. If she can do it, so can the rest of us. Are you listening, America?
Gwendolyn Addison
Oxnard, Calif.

I may not always agree with your TV critic Jeff Jarvis, but he certainly gets a big hurrah from me for his "Conscientious Objection" article on tabloid television shows. Some shows on television give us information on unpleasant subjects, but most are about the plain glorification of human ills and are truly repulsive to most civilized people. The fact that these tabloid shows are so popular is frightening. Thank you, Jeff. We can only hope your attitude will prevail.
Sharon L. Schindlbeck
Sugar Grove, Ill.

I am sick and tired of Jeff Jarvis and have been for about a year now. It seems so ironic that PEOPLE is a magazine that writes about the true lives of modern-day people and then employs a television critic that does not like real life and real-life people situations. Mr. Jarvis, we the people enjoy these stories, even though at times they may be violent. I would be willing to bet that if they made a TV movie on Kelly McGillis' ordeal, Mr. Jarvis would give it a poor rating. It's okay for his magazine, but not for TV.
Glenda G. Thomas
Cando, N.Dak.

Jeff Jarvis' little diatribe about tabloid TV was a bit ironic coming from someone who writes for a publication that each year dedicates a cover story to the "Sexiest Man Alive."
Robert F. Finke
Oklahoma City

Having just read the letter from the individual who was suspicious of the "convenience" of Kelly McGillis' account of her rape and of "fading stars who 'bravely' admit their drug or alcohol dependency so that they are at the forefront of the Hollywood news scene once again," I must respond. First, Ms. McGillis was not famous at the time of her rape. It is inconceivable that she filed a false report hoping to one day make a film about rape and have a handy PR device. Second, she deserves to be commended for her efforts to help others. Fortunately most people will appreciate her honesty.
Laurie Lalko
Midland, Texas

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