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I am becoming ever more enraged that a terrorist attack, however evil, brilliant, and devastating, has been used by the Bush administration to justify virtually every attempt to deprive Americans of long-held rights and values. Saddam Hussein is a very, very evil man. He is not alone among national leaders in being so: Mugabe in Tanzania, Assad in Syria, and the list continues on.
Should we risk our children to oust him and end up with a fundamentalist Islamic republic and thousands of casualties in a population which will hate us even more? [While] at the same time defer action against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which is the real villain? With each trip for a photo opportunity (perhaps 75% of the President's time is apparently devoted to these) I am more upset. The attack of September 11th has endangered all of us -- far more from forces within our own government -- and Osama Bin Laden, through our own leaders' response to the attacks, has succeeded in damaging many of our most cherished values, beliefs and freedoms. Will Rogers once said that war should be fought by arming each leader involved with a sack of manure, and allowing them to go after each other in a stadium. The cost in lives would be minimal, and the process would be far more entertaining. Joseph Myers, Del Mar/Riverside, CA
I know I should be sensitive to other less fortunate around the world, and I am, but I also loathe the way the world always puts blame on the U.S. for their troubles. There's a tragedy somewhere in the world and we're there with aide of all types. Another day, another tragedy in America, who comes to our aide? No one.
I have a solution to the issues in the Middle East. $50 million to the company that perfects a gasoline replacement, able to be used with existing auto usage. Follow the news with short notes to those having issues with our diplomacy in the Middle East thanking them for their business over the last 50 years with an apology that their services will no longer be needed. No bloodshed. I'm sorry I'm so mad but things like 9/11 simply cannot happen...we are good people. —Michael Olson, San Francisco, CA
My mom has always had this way of grounding our family when we are experiencing turbulent situations - she says "Now wait a minute, let's just think about what we're doing here". It has always been kind of a funny joke - the way we imitate her.
The events of September 11th made me stop and reexamine my perspective of life, values, goals, and relationships in much the same way she always has. They made me reevaluate what is most important to me. I will always tell my family that I love them. I will always carry my cell phone. I will always look at the passengers getting on the plane with me and hope that we will all be a cohesive team. I will try to look into their eyes and see their hearts. It is no longer important to me that I drive a car with a spoiler on it; it is more important that I get home safely. I will continue to take a long hard stare at what defines me as a person and all of us as a nation. —Susan Leys, Rockville, MD
I'm sure that Bush and Cheney would like me to read their script along with them, but honestly little has changed in my life. I suspect the whole idea that everything has changed is mostly media hype designed to win support for militarism. —Stephen Philion, Minneapolis, MN
I'm writing this at a University in the wee early hours of September 11, 2002, the first Anniversary of the attack on what I think is the 'American' in me. Yep; this attack has made me stronger at persisting to 'love away', to be that 'Statue of Liberty' to a neighbor, a stranger...even to myself. [Now] to be able to choose to smile which can be more rooted in a Bible verse which insists that "your joy no man (even terrorists) can take from you (me)!" This verse is in the New Testament. Thank God for Jesus Christ. Is he your Savior yet? Ask him into your heart this morning and get to church this Sunday. In God We Trust: 'LET'S ROLL!' God bless America! —Jane Elizabeth Schoewe, Winona, MN
My life is different as I am now convinced beyond any doubt that America is caught in an inevitable downward slide caused by its own ignorance and arrogance. Rather than thinking of what behaviors of ours have lead to the hatred and resentment leveled at us by much of the world, we have chosen to ignore these signs and see only our fantasy of America: the invincible and terminally unique empire. I am sure the Romans had a similar view of their empire just prior to the arrival of the Vandals.
We would do better to stop the mindless patriotic rhetoric and start thinking like a collective of mature minds. But maturity is not a matter of desire; it is the product of time, experience, compassion, and honest reflection. It is no coincidence that we have a weak, dangerous, and embarrassing figure like George Bush representing us at such a time. The behavior of our leaders is the greatest national tragedy we face. —Michael Coyle, Minneapolis, MN
9/11 is just another day. People die and bad goes unnoticed everyday. why is this any different? I do everything exactly the same as I did on September 10th, 2001. Each day just another day like any other. —Rodney Prince, Minneapolis, MN
I am 26 years old. I had a friend from high school who was killed in Tower 2 that day. To think that at 25, we are all just out of college and starting our lives... and now one of us is gone. It shocked me to think that someone my age could die, that anything that happens so early in one's life could be so final. It made me reassess my goals, priorities and the path that my life was on. Every single second of every single day is precious, and to waste time doing something that you don't love with people whose company you do not enjoy is a kick in the shins to everyone who lost their lives that day. —Shirelle T. White, Yokohama, CA