Imagine Charleston without the part of the Mark Clark Expressway that is complete. I call it the Mark Clark, many call it I-526.

I am proud that this road is named for one of the country’s late leaders, Gen. Clark. Like the late Gen. William Westmoreland, for whom a bridge is named, both were past military leaders who got the mission done for the USA.

I’m ashamed of the fact that Charleston County Council has not finished what it started. If any of our military leaders did not finish what they started, we would not be here as a free people discussing what we would like to have in Charleston.

An expressway that would encircle Charleston would be beneficial in time of peace or in a time of war. Many people also think of hurricane evacuations as a reason to complete the Mark Clark.

If we should ever have a no-notice emergency like a terrorist attack, natural disaster requiring a mass evacuation or military or police force deployment, the Mark Clark would be the best road to use. The economic, defensive and mobility effects would be more positive then negative.

Without the current Mark Clark Expressway, we would still be traveling the North Bridge or the Cooper River bridge to get around.

I’m a native of Charleston, and I spent 33 years as a Charleston Air Base reservist. I live west of the Ashley because of the Mark Clark. The area around Bees Ferry Road is the most beautiful around thanks to the Mark Clark. I’ve deployed to places where others only dream of roads like we have. I hate to see all this fighting over something that was meant to be completed in the first place.

Ask anyone in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, police, fire or EMS service. Most will say they trust in their leaders. I ask County Council to be our leaders. Do what is needed to protect and serve the citizens. Finish what was started for the good of all.

John Jones

Ivy Circle

Charleston