I am not a religious man but I know and believe in God. I am not black, white, yellow, or brown, I am an American. I believe in giving peace and love not hatred and destruction.
Sharing is the key to life. No matter what particular book you receive his word from or name you call him, God is God. You handful of few have wreaked havoc on many, in the name of God. My message to you is to tell you that when your time comes you will answer to God for your actions but until that time comes you will answer to me or another like me, an American. I forgive you for your misguided hatred, but the families that have been destroyed by your act will fuel the desire to wipe the world clean of your hatred. Live in peace while you can. You have on many occasions tried to raise conflict by your unprovoked attacks, but as God taught us we turned the other cheek. To our loss, now the time has come to act. My sorrow and tears flow for the innocent that will perish in the hunt for the few. May God guide us swiftly toward a loving sharing world.
I am no one of significance, just an American.
Doug Marks, Carpentersville
I have a question for the people who feel compelled to attack Muslim and/or Middle Eastern people in this country after the horrific events of Tuesday. Did you attack skinny, blond, white boys after the Oklahoma bombing?
Kenneth Hay, Niles
Many commentators have compared the horrific events of the past week to another Pearl Harbor, leading one to think in terms of a clearly defined enemy and an easily understood victory. I do not think this is the best way to look at these events.
I think a better analogy would be to the period at the beginning of the Cold War in the late 1940's. Then we were fighting an enemy bent on world domination, using ideology to insight the world against us and determined to bury us at all costs.
President Truman and subsequent Presidents fought the cold war using two basic policies. Building up allies, (the Marshall Plan in Europe and the Rebuilding of Japan) and containment. These policies led to the steady attrition of the Soviet Empire and a victory in the Cold War. Not without cost however ( Korea, Vietnam and many other encounters)
So how does this apply to the current situation in the Middle East? The containment element is what most of us have been thinking about in the last week. Military, economic and diplomatic reprisals aimed at terrorism are a good start. but, they are only half of the strategy. An equal effort must be directed at developing and strengthening the moderate Arab states along with accelerating cooperation and economic integration within the region.
The US must do everything in its power to bring a swift and just end to the Israeli Palestinian conflict. Then we can direct our attention to developing cooperative institutions within the region similar to the ones created in Europe after WW II (NATO, the Common Market, etc.) This regional development along with continued pressure on the terrorist elements in the region should wear them down over a period of time. Hopefully in less than the 45 years it took to end the Cold War.
The Cold War era took millions of lives and caused all of us to live under the constant fear of instant nuclear annihilation, but we managed to survive and prevail.
The war against terrorism must be waged with equal fervor, but hopefully without some of the excesses of that period such as the McCarthy era. I am confident we are up to it and I believe history has shown us the path.
John Geocaris, Wilmette
The most decisive weapon against terrorism is the elimination of pain and poverty. Without the support of those who cry out in pain and hunger, radical militants would have no support, not battles to wage, no victories to celebrate. Let us all rise up and recognize the need to share more of ourselves, knowing those who attacked the innocent in New York, did not attack America, they attacked humanity.
Larry Sullivan, Nepean, Ontario
In unprecedented crisis, America has united. During this time of tragedy & sorrow, we have bonded and witnessed the heroism of our citizens - the airline crews & passengers, rescue workers, police & firemen, and also our nation's leaders. For us to survive and triumph, we must join together.
Even Congress and the White House Administration have risen above the partisan politics.
Unfortunately, at least two of our major media networks have not. Peter Jennings of ABC prefaced President Bush's Tuesday night address with the comment (paraphrased) that "Some president's are articulate, some are not". And Dan Rather of CBS said, in effect, that "No matter how you feel about him, he is still the President."
No president is above or beyond criticism, but for "journalists" to interject their own beliefs without fact is outrageous!! To try and undermine our Leader at this time is reprehensible and unethical. Unethical for reporters who are supposed to provide the facts - not influence national opinion under the guise of "news". In any circumstance outside of the editorial page/broadcast, this is both inappropriate and wrong.
I know we will continue to support each other in the face of Evil. But I hope that the public will seek out the truth rather than blindly accept the biased "reporting" of a few.
Monika Nelsen, Hawthorn Woods
Tonight on my street, some candles blaze. Even more porch lights are lit. Dozens of American flags fly. Strangers speak. But something troubles my heart. More and more, these flags seem to stand for the ugly fact that America is preparing for war.
I too display my flag, proud to be an American. But mine stands for something different. Tonight, as I prayed again for world peace, as I have every night this week, I added a peace symbol to the field of the flag I fly. While some Americans thirst for war, this American does not. And I believe I do not stand alone.
I believe in my heart that no mother in the world tonight wishes to send her son to war. No American mother. No Arab mother. I believe in my heart that we all wish our children to grow old together, talking on some future peaceful day about the week our world came to the brink of another generation of war. And telling the amazing tale of how we chose the harder battle of putting aside hatred, intolerance and greed in order to do something else we all could live with.
Susan Lersch, Chicago
In the aftermath of last Tuesday's terrorist attacks, there have been incidents where Middle-Eastern immigrants and Muslims have been attacked, the targets of misguided vengeance. I urge the public to remember that they should not judge an entire group of people based upon the bad actions of a few individuals. It is the same for foreigners to judge Americans based on the actions of the KKK. I confess that as the son of Indian immigrants, I have been often mistaken for an Arab, and it is because of this fact that I have been wary in the past few days of going out in public unnecessarily. There truly is nothing more that the attackers would like than to see Americans attacking one another, because then they have won. We must be more merciful in our quest for justice than the terrorists were merciless in theirs. Ever since its beginnings, America has been seen as a "city on the hill," a beacon to the rest of the world, where one can pursue happiness and escape persecution. We must not allow that to change.
Rithvik Balakrishnan, Oak Park
While we focus on new security measures in our airports, airplanes and buildings, it seems that we will also need to tighten standards within our training institutions as well. Since the hijackers received their training in U.S. flight schools, it is obvious that admission to certain fields of study should now be limited only to U.S. citizens. This would obviously include flight training, but should also include fields such as engineering, nuclear physics, bioengineering and perhaps other areas of study that could have a potential use by terrorists. Only with intensive security screening should non-citizens be admitted to such programs. Given the current circumstances, we cannot be an incubator for foreign terrorists in our own country.
Scott Buening, Carol Stream
In the coming days, many men and women will be going into very hostile territory to fight a war that many say they want but not many will be participating in. This is a message to remind everyone that each and every person that will be putting their lives on the line for the sake of this nation, belong to someone. They are brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters. These men and women who are being forced to face the enemy head-on deserve all the prayers and support of every person in this nation who was effected by the acts of terrorists. They should be thanked in advance. Please, for my brother and all who are in the military and emergency services, pray for their safety. Although the enemy may be anonymous, our heroes are not.
Robyn Spalding, Park Ridge
My heartfelt prayers go out to all those who have lost a loved one in theattack on America. Enough thanks cannot be expressed to the rescue workersand volunteers. We are shocked and angered by this blatant attack on ourcountry. Can you imagine how they must feel as they search for our missingfellow Americans? Although we may not be blood relatives we too share theloss for we are the family of America.
When we pledge our allegiance to the flag we state, "one Nation under God,indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." Our liberty is at risk andthe guilty must be brought to justice. This tragedy is a reality. It hasenlightened us as to what is important in this life. We are praying to Godfor we know we are powerless without Him. Americans are strong in characterand principle. They help in time of need and share in the sorrow of theirfellow Americans. We stand united.
Our greatest strength is not necessarily the military but in our belief inGod, our love for America, our children, our family, our friends and ourneighbors. No terrorist can take that strength from us. They may havewounded us badly but they have not conquered us. We possess something thatthey cannot destroy.
God Keep us safe from further attacks, Enlighten us, Guide us and Blessthis great country and its people. We thank You for all You do for us.
Marlene Jeziorski, Oak Lawn
While I completely understand that portions of your paper are pre-printed, the decision to even distribute the Magazine section can be attributed to only one thing -- GREED. God forbid that the advertisements you covet should not be seen for a week. At this moment in history who wants to read of the glorification of Bill Ayers, the terrorist. I'm all for free speech but timing is everything. This was not the time for this particular Magazine issue to see the light of day.
Sandra Bennewitz, Chicago
Our hearts are torn wide open from the horrible events of 9/11. We are hearing of plans for increasing the capabilities of the CIA, FBI, NSA, INS and similar agencies. We have to agree that these plans must go forward intelligently and quickly. We must also recognize that our continuing security rests in us. We American citizens - each one of us - must be attentive and proactive to what's occurring around us. These terrorists lived and live with us, received and receive technical education from us, operated and operate in our Country using our systems. We must look around us. We must be alert. We cannot stand by any longer. We must take note, make notes, and notify appropriate authorities of any suspicious individuals and activities. All of us. The flight school in Florida trained these suicidal pilots, noting that, although there was something unusual about them, it accepted their $25,000 training tuition fees. We can't do this! Each one of us - educators, hospitality, rental car agents, travel agents, clerics, all businessmen - each of us and our neighbors all - are the solution and the future. For our continued safety and that of our loved ones, we can no longer isolate ourselves and prostitute ourselves for money for these lunatics. We will prevail.
Noel Hastalis, Burr Ridge
After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States government interned Japanese Americans in concentration camps in our country. Their only "crime" was being Americans of Japanese heritage. This was done with the approval of the American people for reasons of national defense.I am worried that this terrible part of our history will be repeated again with Americans whose heritage is Arabic or of another Middle Eastern country. We need to learn from our past mistakes and realize that an entire group of Americans can not be subjected to internment, harassment and bodily harm. Yes, we need to be more concerned about our security and safety, but we can't repeat the concentration camps.
Margaret Isaacson, Chicago
The events of Sept. 11, 2001 are the worst our nation has ever seen. Pearl Harbor, Vietnam, the Oklahoma City bombing were, unbelievably, not as bad as what has recently occurred.We have overcome many obstacles to be the great country we are today. We have fought hard for our freedom. This is what has made us and kept us strong.As difficult as it may be, we, as a country, need to return to some semblance of normalcy as quickly as possible. If we don't, then the terrorists win. We can't allow them to make us live in fear. We must stand tall and proud. We have faced adversity before and prevailed. We will again.My prayers are with all.
Carla Bolek, Bloomington
How appropriate that Bill Ayers' book, "Fugitive Days" should be released at this time. Oh what fun to reminisce about those "feel good" days of the 1960's when he and Dohrn were young and brash and full of murderous venom. Do you think that 30 years from now, Osama Bin Laden will be spending summers in Northern California with his true love, walking hand in hand and laughing about the good old days? Oh you crazy kids!
Mary Bernichio, Howe, Ind.
Has anyone ever thought about the atrocities America has committed against people? Lets not forget that sometime not so long ago America bombed a Sudanese pharmacy killing dozens with no supported evidence that it was linked to Osama bin laden. If God is on the side of one, he has to be equally against the opposing party. America believes she is guided by the will of God and so does these people. How can we ascertain who is right. It's amazing how many people rally around the concept of God when there is adversity. At some point America was bound to pay for its crimes against humanity. i think the only thing good that came out of this whole ordeal is the fact that other minorities now know that it could happen to them. Arabs in this country feel like they are one step closer to becoming the new American slaves; especially with this anti-Arab sentiment going around. America will flip the script on whoever it will at will. Most people say they believe in God but don't know what it means to truly believe. What God are we believing in. everyone talks about the oneness of God and how we all believe in the same God, bull. The Koran opposes the bible, the Jews say Jesus is not the messiah, the Hindus say Vishnu's their God along with a host of others, the Dahli lama says that enlightenment is to know the oneness of God. Who can we believe. God has never audibly given anyone today a message of is existence. Everybody claims to know God but have no formula of worship that they can say is the definitive word of God and if so that would mean someone else is wrong. The bible says that any other book after it let be accursed, the Koran says Jesus is not God in the flesh, but rather an ordinary man. One refutes the other. Wake up people and know for a surety which God you serve, your soul depends on it.
Asante Kahari, New York
Thanks Tribune, for you choice of a Sunday Magazine topic. We all appreciated a cover story on 2 dinosaur 60's radicals who now poison our institutions of higher learning. I thumbed through it and wouldn't give it the dignity of reading it.
Great timing! How about a follow-up article to see if they are now on the side of the government? I doubt it.
James E. Hajduk, Roselle
Let's first assume that we do find evidence that Osama bin Laden is behind the terrorist attack. What do we do next? We are poised for quick action, but uncertain of how to retaliate. The rugged mountains of Afghanistan provide natural cover from our missiles and bombs. On the other hand, a coordinated attack is also likely to be very difficult. These terrorists are battle hardened from their victorious campaign against the Soviets and are fanatically motivated to put up a good fight. At the same time, we should not be too overconfident about our ability to find and apprehend fugitives in wild areas, since we are still looking for the Olympic bomber that is hiding in our own back yard! A likely result of the coordinated attack would be high casualties, considerable local damage, and a public spectacle of the USA becoming a foreign invader in an unwelcome land. This will reduce the global impact of the Twin Tower massacre and increase the hostility of many Islamic people against the USA, which will help bin Laden recruit more radicals. Even then, there is a significant possibility that we don't get him and instead we enhance his reputation and ability to destabilize the modern world.
We can look at this as war chess. In this scenario, bin Laden made his first violent move and is waiting for the USA to retaliate in a battlefield in which he has the advantage and would be very hard for us to win even if we experience military success. We have seen how Israeli retaliations have strengthened the radical Palestinian movement. Perhaps this is exactly what bin Laden wants us to do! He wants to convert moderate Muslims into radicals throughout the globe to expel Western influence from Islamic nations. In this objective he is likely to win and use our military retaliation for his benefit. If he survives our attack he become a hero and if he dies he become a martyr! This is the chessboard that he has created to further his goals and give him advantage.
What else can we do? We can refuse to fight in his chessboard and formulate our own instead. We can turn this tragedy into a global opportunity to strike back in the area that will hurt bin Laden the most. Since we are not the only nation concerned about the radical Muslims and their terrorist activities, this is our opportunity to take global leadership and form a coalition against these radicals. Western Europe, Japan, China and Russia are all concerned, and together we can wage a very powerful struggle. But what action would this coalition take? It doesn't really matter! What counts is that this coalition develops into a strong and sustainable force and takes action that: 1) can be supported by a large portion of this coalition, and 2) that supports the position of moderate Muslims. We change the chessboard to one in which we are really fighting for the heart and support of moderate Muslims. The action that should be taken should be designed to provide strategic advantage to the moderate Muslims over the radicals and should be planned with their involvement. This is the most damaging action we can take against bin Laden and provide the best chance to avoid tragedies like we experienced this week.
The American people want retaliation. Retaliation that is quick and visible, because we are mad and want to give bin Laden and other terrorists a lesson. Even though cooperative action is likely to be slow, not dramatic, and less visible in the short term, we must not loose sight of the likely repercussions of hasty military reaction. By our action we choose the chessboard in which we battle and that choice determines who will gain the advantage in the struggle that will follow. Now is the time that we need the White House to provide the vision and leadership to avoid the traps that are set for us and seize this historic opportunity.
Halvard E. Nystrom, Rolla, Mo.
I am a 3rd generation Greek American disgusted over reports from Greece saying the US brought the terrorist attack upon itself. It saddens me that the birthplace of democracy has not chosen to totally and fully support the world's greatest democracy. This failure has made one thing clear to my family. We are Americans who have no desire to ever set foot on Greek soil again. Only the red, white, and blue flies proudly at our house!
Peter M. Pappas, Crystal Lake
I am cursed with a long memory.
I remember the despair of the Depression, my family being forced to sell its small form, watching in fear and lack of understanding as all our worldly goods were sold off for a fraction of their value. My sisters and I were scattered to live among relatives who could not afford to keep us while my parents scrambled to find work and housing. After a year, we were reunited and I, for the first time, discovered indoor plumbing. Naively, I thought that miracle was a sign that from then on everything would be all right.
It was not.
I remember the horrors of WWII, the huddling together in prayer in the basement while air raid sirens tore the night. I remember men who went away to cheers and returned in coffins. I remember the all-consuming fear that I, too, would die. I remember that there was never enough to eat. We sacrificed without complaint and with the understanding that it was our contribution to the war effort.
I remember the bunker mentality of the Cold War when, as children, we practiced hiding under our desks during bomb drills. Very often, during such a drill, some child wet his or her pants. We all understood that if a bomb were to hit our school, our desks could not save us, but none of us dared to utter aloud that knowledge.
I remember the long dreadfulness of the Korean conflict, the slow erosion of the American trust in its own indominatable spirit. Near its end, boys hardly older than I were systematically called to the service of their country; they accepted their fates and those of us who stayed behind could only pray for them. I lost many friends in that war, including my first lover.
I remember the tense moments of the Bay of Pigs, the miracle of Krushchev blinking and thus granting our Camelot a brief reprieve; again, my life was spared.
I remember America's self-hatred during the Vietnam war -- hippie children who had grown up in a Utopian America demanding that the nation bend to their will. I remember the vile insults slung at returning veterans -- often the children of the poor who had neither the means nor the clout to escape the war.
I remember the Church Commission emasculating the CIA, Americans long held hostage by religious fanatics in Iran, the rise of political correctness, the Supreme Court of the United States ruling that the desecration of the American flag is a protected statement of individual liberty, war as television entertainment with each network scrambling for ratings.
I have witnessed the hamstringing of individualism, the deterioration of American freedoms from within by liberals and right-wingers and religious fundamentalists, each with their own agenda.
I have seen Americans grow soft and self-centered.
Until September 11, 2001, we had been a nation obsessed with trivia, each of us focused on our own little patch of the neighborhood and its property values without concern for the larger picture -- the country and all that it stands for.
We should all be ashamed. And, once that shame is acknowledged, we need to dig deep inside ourselves to find the courage, the stamina, the necessary grit to support our government and our troops should the nation once again find itself at war. Most of all, we must relearn how to sacrifice our money, our rights, our lives, the lives of our children for the greater cause.
I have seen enough of war and states of war. I fervently pray that our leaders can miraculously settle these matters before a single American dies in the conflict. That is not likely to be the case. And so I pray for us all.
Ghia Ackerman, Chicago
I have an image in my mind of Osama Bin Laden standing Grinch-like atop a mountain, his hand cupped to his ear, straining to hear the sounds of America collapsing. I imagine his stunned realization that even in the face of such devastating loss, the people of the United States have risen up and united in a way many people never thought possible. I am so proud to be an American today.
But I do not believe that our enemy's heart will grow three sizes today, because it is simply not possible that he has a heart.
And I suspect that our story will not end with this monster singing in our midst.
Lisa Erdmier, Lemont
This week all of us are finding ways to cope with what has happened to our country. Some will turn to the comfort of daily routine, others will find those routines to be somehow, less meaningful than they were only a week ago.
Many will find ourselves compelled to act out of both compassion for the victims and anger for the perpetrators. Through all of this we must be careful not to lash out too quickly, nor should we take actions too sweeping. In the few days which have passed since our lives were forever altered, our President, with the overwhelming support of Congress, has moved quickly towards a state of war.
We, both our leaders and ourselves, have bypassed a necessary step in addressing this tragedy. We have forgotten to analyze what has led to this events. We fear that in examining the motives and desires of the terrorists we will somehow legitimize their actions. But this is not the case. Their actions are despicable. No matter the cause for which they acted, they can never be forgiven for taking so many lives.
However, though their means are to be despised, their message must be heard. We can at this point only make assumptions of the political aims of the perpetrators, but it is clear that they despise the U.S. President Bush would have us think that they acted out of a hatred of the freedom Americans enjoy. But the truth is more likely that the hatred stems from the destructive policies of the U.S.
We are guilty of many atrocities against the Arab and Muslim people, including but not limited to the devastation caused by the Gulf War. In one bombing of an air raid shelter over 400 civilians were killed. Economic sanctions have ended lives and caused much suffering of human beings. These casualties are different from those lost Tuesday only in terms of geography.
Our chickens have come home to roost. Let us learn a lesson and act accordingly.
No longer should the U.S. place human rights as a secondary concern behind economic and political power. Representative Barbara Lee of California showed heroism as she stood alone Friday in voting for peace. Please take the time to send her your congratulations.
If you do find yourself compelled to act, please act out of love and compassion, and not out of hatred. Peace has always been a higher aim than war. The last thing we need is more bloodshed.
Peace and hope.
F.G. Elias Walsh, Chicago
I am disheartened by a National Public Radio report that I recently heard regarding demonstrations of citizens in Chicago's Bridgeview neighborhood in response to the terrorist attacks on our country. The report featured demonstrators denouncing and calling for the removal of Arab American citizens from their neighborhood. These ethnic attacks were shrouded in what was ostensibly a patriotic display amid chants of USA, USA.
I urge these citizens to learn from history and not repeat the mistakes made during WWII when Japanese American citizens were gathered and detained in camps.
The heinous attacks in New York and Washington were the result of extreme ideological beliefs and not borne of religious or ethnic ideals. Due to this fact, the enemy our country faces today is one that can only be defined in these terms, and not identifiable by skin color, religion or the headdress that one wears.
I strongly support our leaders in their zeal to seek retribution for the atrocities committed against thousands of innocent Americans, but I also believe that it is incumbent upon the government to do so in a controlled and strategic manner. The American people will need careful counseling to avoid the type of visceral response that is erupting in this Chicago neighborhood, and across the nation. Our national leaders must temper their hawkish rhetoric by defining who the true enemy is, and recognizing the fact that the perpetrators of these crimes cannot be conveniently or quickly identified.
Regardless of the weapon of destruction a terrorists chooses, their true ally is panic and fear. The demonstrators in Bridgeview, while focusing their hatred on their neighboring Arab Americans are actually aligning themselves as confederates of the terrorists. What furthers the deplorable nature of these actions at this time of national mourning, is that they were waged while the demonstrators wrapped themselves in the American flag.
Daniel Stearns, Waukegan
I am an eighth grader who wanted to share my thoughts on September 11's horrific events. I have put my feelings into a poem. It is solely my creation -- please give appropriate credit if you decide to use it.
Terror fills my ears, though no one is screaming.
Horror's dark shadow of a hand reaches out and entwines itself around my chest,
tighter and tighter
like a snake,
I am stunned by the words flowing from my teacher's mouth.
I am appalled by my friends' reactions,
chewing bubble gum, twirling their hair,
tapping their feet.
So many questions take shape inside of me
What happened? Who did it?
Am I safe? Are we at war?
Am I safe?
Why am I reacting differently?
Does anyone else care?
I desperately give my questions life
by voicing them,
sure that they will be answered.
They are not.
Confusion takes hold of me.
are best friends.
They conspire together
to drive me insane.
Inside me they are
I am shouting
but on the outside I am calm.
I chew on my bubble gum, twirl my hair,
tap my feet.
Perhaps we are not so different.
Jessica Leving, Highland Park
Please don't send any more articles admiring old, homegrown terrorists to my home. The Weatherman are still willing, apparently, to shove their ideas of society down my throat. They may have stopped bombing when they learned that they hadn't the expertise to keep themselves safe, but their lives have been long years of lies and deceit and law breaking. I'm embarrassed that we don't deny a voice to the terrorists among us who deny their own responsibility for the incivility that threatens us all. I would have objected to your article about Mr. Ayers without the destruction of the World Trade Center and must now speak out against admiring anyone who would ever bomb peaceful people to bring attention to their "causes".
Sandra Hebron, Antioch
Fortunately, bin Laden must not have seen the outcome of the Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding Saga. He will soon see the global reaction to low blows executed in thug-like manners.
Marla Decker, Chicago
Message to America
My initial reaction to the despicable act of terrorism is bomb them all,
Wipe them out of the earth, evil or innocent. The same way they killed ours.
Then I sit back and think, that makes us no different than them, there should not be any more innocent bloodshed, especially ours, or the innocent neighboring them.
We should plot this long-term strategy:
Gather all the people who speak their language, understand their culture, train and educate Intelligence operators to know their religions and their hatred.
Infiltrate into the terrorist and the Islamic extremist.
Instigate a war between them , let them be killed by their own hatred, by their own kind, In the name of their own God.
If an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth is what they believe in, they shall taste the fruit of it, and lay in the bed that they make.
Instead of spending money for a war, we should raise every dime for the rebuilding.
Instead of sending men and women, black or white, to war, we should use all our strength and effort in re-building.
Not only the buildings in New York and the Pentagon, but our economy and our land for the Free and the Brave.
We especially need to rebuild our peace, our love and our belief in God and family.
We should boycott their oil, ignore OPEC, and do all possible to carpool, build up public transportation and be self-sufficient. Let them drown in their damn oil.
We, the world, should restrict any imports of arms, telecommunications, food and any necessities into their country. The world must isolate them.
We need to strengthen our homeland security, look for preventive measures to save lives.
Install inflatable slides in high-rise buildings, Para-shoots should be standard on the upper floors of super high rise buildings. Look into building more underground facilities,
Not only for disasters like this but also help us in fires, earthquakes and tornadoes.
Most importantly, we need to show our children our strength and our wisdom. Show them the peace we find within ourselves and among all of us. We have to show them the world is a safe place and all the people are beautiful.
For generations to come, this will not be a tragedy. This is the unification of mankind, Beyond color, races, countries and religions. This is a reinforcement of the freedom and the courage that was defended so strongly by our forefather. The world is awakening to America and what we stand for.
God bless America, the land of the free.
God bless the world, a safe place with kindness.
Cherish every living being created by God, with hope, love and faith, for this is what he truly wants.
Say a pray everyday, May God bless you.
A proud American.
Jackie T. Meredith, Shakopee
IN AMERICA'S STREETS
In America's streets where buildings grow
beneath the ruble far below
the tangled wreckage marks the place
and barren girders hold with haste
Old Glory flies above with pride
as a sorrowful nation screams and cries.
We are the fallen, not long ago
we loved, we laughed
our blood now flows.
Mothers, fathers, daughters and sons
sisters, brothers, and now all one.
The love of he who gave us life
is greater than your current strife
and in the end his love prevails
to vanquish any need to wail.
With our last breath we passed the torch,
take up our cause and keep in sight
the flame we passed it was our life.
Do not despair and never yield
hold fast your faith so we can rest
and rise above our foes bequest
that we should fall and come undone
in America's streets.
RESPONSE TO THE FALLEN
Oh you who fell we hear your call, arise and rest we will not fall. We too like you will not loose sight the torch you passed will be our light to help us win this noble fight
The smoke from distant foes will not, prevent our minds and hearts to stop; your lives have helped us all to see the strength of our democracy.
To all who fell we pledge our best, to learn the lesson from this test, today and now from shore to shore,
we are all Americans, forevermore.
James L. Jackson, Cedar Falls, Ia.
I feel that we are in a situation that we will win in a very timely manner. These terrorists are not motivated by money but by an extremist ideology. Eradicating drug runners is much more difficult than this will prove to be.
The whole world will assist in this effort because terrorism will affect everyone's way of life. Bring down the US and the whole world economy is adversely affected. Help from many sources in the form of leads and arrests will be coming from all over the world.
We have to be careful, however, that that we don't adopt the "Red Neck" mentality. Let's not persecute any of our innocent fellow citizens, especially those of Arabic decent. Many of these citizens are two and three generation Americans who could be in a position to help in many ways.
We have to remember that we are a multifaceted society. Nazi Germany which singled out a people and expended much of it's energy to their destruction were luckily defeated because they didn't utilize all of their citizens to accomplish a common goal.
Let's show that our country is great because of its diversity.
Gary Levin, Schererville, Ind.
I find it somewhat disturbing that the US is considering permanently closing Reagan Airport because of the proximity of flight paths to the Pentagon, White House and the Capitol.
Is this to say that the lives of these people are more important than the proximity of flight paths to any other USA airport??
I find this rationale somewhat convoluted.
Scott Lang, Winston-Salem
We need the media to educate our country. We as Americans tend to be very ethnocentric and do not know much about the world outside of the U.S. The backlash against Arab Americans has not been only against Arab American but anyone who is brown which includes Arabs, Pakistanis, Hispanics, and Indians. The backlash is due to fear especially fear of the unknown which is the result ignorance. the media needs to educate about diversity and that we are all Americans. Domestic terrorism against people of color in this country by other people in this country can not be tolerated and it is time for our media and elected officials to make a strong statement against such acts instead of glancing over the topic.
Sagar Shah, Miami
I was shocked to hear that the airlines were looking to the President for financial assistance because of the tragedy earlier this week. Though not entirely to blame, the airlines must take some, if not all, the responsibility for the lack of security in our nations airports. In the wake of earlier tragedies, Congress pushed hard for an upgrading of security personnel, more sophisticated scanning equipment, and the like only to hear that the airlines couldn't afford the increased costs. I don't know what those improvements would have cost, but I'm sure it would not represent a fraction of what was lost on September 11, 2001.To now go back and ask for subsidies and cash is unconscionable and a slap in the face to all those who lost their lives in New York and Washington D.C.
Bob Grabe, Lemont
Thank you, Chicago Tribune Magazine, for your paean to terrorism, your firm pat on the back for Ayers and Dohrn. And for the limp attempt to justify it on page 2. It warms the heart to know they possess such fetching senses of humor, that they amuse each other to such an extent. What a touching example of the human side of violence.
Someone named Kim Day says of Ayers, "I'm sure he had the best intentions in mind." Does anyone doubt Osama bin Laden feels the same?
What a stroke of luck this article appeared when it did, when all Americans have stark reality against which to measure the lame rationalizations of these terrorists. Do us another favor. Get all of us copies of the photo of this man, the American flag in the dirt at his feet, so we may display it in front of our homes beside our flags. Ayers said, "I guess I didn't take my medication that day." How flip. How amusing. How many Vietnam veterans will enjoy that smug remark, men and women who put their lives on the line, and saw fellow Americans maimed and killed so they would never have to see their flag in the dirt?
Want to do something for America today? Show these people and all their fellow bottom dwellers what you think of them. Show them your back.
James Kearney, Palos Heights
I went to a prayer service the other night, as I'm sure many of you did. Our pastor, Fr. Gaddy, made a wonderful point. He said that we are ALL grieving for ALL those who have been killed or who are missing. We did NOT stop to ask if they were black or white. We did NOT stop to ask if they were Christians, Muslims, Jews, aethiests, etc. We did NOT stop to ask if they were rich or poor. All we see is that they are human beings.As the bitter memories and the pain of these tragic events begin to fade a bit, I pray that we will all remember to see people as human beings - not by their race, creed, or social status.
Mary McIntosh, Frederiksted, St. Croix
It didn't take long before the voices were heard claiming that the U.S. support of Israel was the root cause of the Tuesday tragedy. But the present surge of the militant Islamic fundamentalism started with the Khomeini's "revolution" in Iran and continues until now in places as remote from Palestine as Algeria and Afghanistan. To be sure, those behind these horrible acts of terror know how to exploit the misery of Palestinian people - just like Lenin and Hitler knew how to take advantage of the poverty and dissatisfaction in the post-World War I Russia and Germany. It is easy for those with an ingrown bias against Israel to point an accusing finger. But the real objective of these murderers is not liberation but enslavement and return to Dark Ages. This should be remembered by anyone who values progress, democracy, and civilization.
Alex Mishulovich, Wilmette
The choice of covers for the Chicago Tribune Magazine has always been a bizarre business: a boxing promoter with a criminal record, a bunch of "hip" loafers, all kinds of lunatic fringe. But it is hard even to imagine anything as disgusting as a picture of an "unrepentant" terrorist on the cover dated September 16. The most alarming is the fact that this character and his wife are teaching in universities (she is teaching LAW!!!) Yes, this can happen only in a democratic society, the very same society they tried hard to destroy. Shame on you!
Alex Mishulovich, Wilmette
In the aftermath of the tragedy that has befallen us all, I greatly fear the rhetoric that surrounds our reaction and plans. Indeed, we are right and just in expecting military actions and vengeance. However, a "war on terrorism" sounds close to a "war on drugs" or other un-winnable "wars." To that end, I believe that how we act and what we say is as important as what we do. We should act. But we should create a movement of inclusion rather than a war. We must create a greater sense in the world that the U.S. is not against people, but rather is for creating a world that is secure for people of all nations and religions. Teenagers and children in impoverished Islamic states need to feel that we are asking them to join a world of security, love, prosperity and freedom. A pure military conflict will only serve to further alienate, creating generations of hate. Yes, we should retaliate. But we should call this a movement towards peace and security, not a war against anything.
George Campbell, Chicago
I, like so many millions of people around the world, find myself being haunted day and night by the images of horror, death, and destruction inflicted on our country and our people. I cannot begin to even fathom the unthinkable terror and torture of body, mind, and spirit that the victims of the planes and the buildings went through, or the sorrow their loved ones are going through now. I don't think I will ever, ever get over this terrible, unforgivable, unforgettable nightmare. At the same time I am being tormented by so many questions as to how this evil plot could have been planned for so long and perpetrated so efficiently without somebody, somewhere along the way blowing a whistle? How could people in this country be attending flight school, request only instruction on in-flight navigation but none on take-off and landings, pay for the classes with cash and NOBODY, not even the flight school operators, call to request the slightest of inquiries or investigations? Airlines have always been a target of terrorist attacks. We cannot single out individuals based on religion or ethnic origin as prime suspects of terrorism. Timothy McVeigh taught us that. But it just makes common sense that anything associated wuth the airline industry, including flight schools, would have been subject to much greater scrutiny by intelligence sources. Americans are the victims and innocent, unsuspecting hostages of our own freedoms. That which we fought and died so hard to acquire and embrace is used against us by our enemies much to their sickening delight and taunting. We give the evildoers license to harm us with the very same privileges and freedoms we treasure and hold dear. I am so sick and distraught over this unthinkable assault on our country, on our brothers and sisters, on our children, and on so many innocent victims and their families. God be with our nation's leaders and with her good people.
John G. Brokopp, Riverside
Dear City of Chicago:
Yesterday I got to thank two of your firefighters who came to help New York. I don't know their names, but I will not forget the exhaustion and other things showing in their eyes for a long time. They said they only wished they could have done more. They have, however, no idea what it meant especially to those of us who live and work in this neighborhood to see them walking the streets past our homes and schools. My 3&1/2 year old asked me the morning after the attack if "they put the buildings back up." "Not yet, honey", I told her. But with the help of those Chicago firefighters and the thousands of others like them lending their support and best wishes, we'll get there. Thank you all.
Gary L. Bristol, Tribeca, New York
Re your headline about Vice-president Cheney telling us what the country is going to do, who does he think he is to speak for the president. I suggest that President Bush put him in the corner for a timeout. I don't remember a vice president speaking for President Roosevelt or any other president at a time of national disaster.
Bert Metzger Jr., Seattle
Thanks for the really riveting article about the two charming has-been American Terrorists from the '60s in Sunday's Magazine section.
Newsflash for the Tribune:
The only generation that thinks tired old, tie-dyed, Vietnam Protesting, bra-burning, drug-taking, tree-hugging, bottle-throwing, jerkoffs like Abbie Hoffman, the Weatherman, the Black Panthers, etc. etc., are even REMOTELY INTERESTING, is you and your own silly self-interested generation.
Both older/younger generations know that the vast majority of you self-congratulatory 60s radicals were WRONG about virtually EVERYTHING you had a strong opinion about, which is pretty funny, since one of your biggest features was a towering arrogance that you were sooo much smarter than the unwashed masses...
No, yours was the "the Fool Generation", and Bill Ayers and his wife are part of it. It is hilarious to most of us that one of them actually teaches at Northwestern University (what does she teach, how to be a spoiled, self-centered, cry-baby-terrorist-wannabe? (Wow, sign me up dude).
Given the recent events in Washington/NYC, this generation should get out of the way now, (go study yoga and eat bean-curd for awhile or something), the rest of us have serious work to do now, like re-building the global economy and waging a successful war, and we know you gutless wonders don't have the stomach for either.
You know, like Power to the People, man...
Rick Beston, Chicago
To the persons involved and responsible for the attack on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and other planned spots:
If you perpetrated this calamity in the belief that America is "The Great Satan", I ask you why many of your people, Muslims from many countries come to live there. The many men, women and children of your faith that live in America have not had to suffer persecution because of their beliefs. They are able to receive a quality education, and gain employment equal to any other American. If an American were to live in your country, would they have the same opportunity?When you created the plan to commit these atrocities, did you take into consideration that there might have been other Muslims among the multitudes of those that were on those airplanes, and in those buildings? I thought that jihad was choosing to do good and avoiding evil with one's hand; to fight the unbeliever, not to slay people indiscriminately. I ask of you: is not Allah a merciful God? Would He really find what you did to be pleasing to Him?Also, if this work of yours was done "in the name of Allah", why have you not stood up and claimed it as yours? Are you ashamed of what you have done? Are you perhaps ashamed of doing acts such as you have committed "in the name of Allah"? Does not the Qur'an say:None can protect me from God, nor can I find any refuge besides Him. My mission is only to make known His messages; those that disobey God and His apostle shall abide for ever in the fire of Hell.He (Allah) alone has knowledge of what is hidden: His secrets He reveals to none, except to the apostles whom He has chosen. He sends down guardians who walk before them and behind them, that He may ascertain if they have indeed delivered the messages of their Lord. He has knowledge of all their actions and takes count of all things.I truly pray that you should claim responsibility for what you have done, so that on the Day of Judgment, Allah should not turn His face away from you in shame.
R. Loots, Mountain Home, Ariz.
There is a sense of unreality has fallen over our country. What happened in New York and Washington is so much like a movie that as we try to move on with our lives it will suddenly hit that this is real, meny people have died and so many more will have to live without the ones they loved. I know now what they mean by "innocence lost."
Michelle Griffith, Arlington Heights
Does it strike anyone else as quite hypocritical for Americans to talk about the barbarism and lack of respect for life in other countries when every single day 4000 lives are ended by legal abortion in this country? When are we going to stop that terrorism?
Karl Schmidt, Arlington Heights
According to Webster's dictionary, the suffix "-ism" represents a doctrine. The war against terrorism we will shortly engage in will be a war against an idea. I shudder to think of what a difficult, if not impossible, task it will be to eliminate this doctrine or idea from the world, especially the world of the Middle East, where the body of radicals who support this doctrine is apparently large, diffuse, and difficult to pin down.
While we are expending our energy and resources into fighting this war, I would urge our government to spend an equal amount of energy and resources on exploring alternative sources of energy other than the oil which keeps us so reliant on the notoriously tricky and unstable Middle East. If anti-American sentiment is so high there, so pervasive, and now, so violently held, why do we have to be there at all?
My heart aches for the victims of this tragedy.
Florence M. Schumacher, River Forest
Millions of people mourning, suffering with the knowledge that their loved one's will never come back to them because of despicable acts of war. This is what we are all feeling; this is also what we are about to cause.
Richard Najdowski, Northbrook
Islamic fundamentalism promotes and achieves medieval despotism, poverty, superstition, sacrifice and death. America promotes and achieves life, freedom, prosperity, rationality and selfish pursuit of happiness. Islamic terrorists attacked America because they fear their culture cannot survive in a contest with the values of America. Let us prove them right.
Andrew Layman, Bellevue
The answer to the teacher shortage in our schools is not to legalize criminals who entered our country illegally but to deport the millions of illegal alien children and there families back to where they came from. If we had enforced our immigration laws we would have now 5000 more American citizens alive. The terrorist who murdered our people were here illegally.
Frank Pucillo, Davie, Fla.
I am writing in response to the flagrant disrespect published today, 9/16/01, in the Trib Magazine. The coverage of the Bill Ayers story (this weekend?) and specifically the publishing of the Weatherman's letter on page 18 shows little consideration of the events of this past week. Whomever decided to go forward with the distribution of this weekend's magazine edition is not an individual whom I want making decisions on what should be conveyed to the general public. I will even go as far as to say that the magazine's Editors should be released from duties due to their negligence. I have found no justification outlining the reasoning for addressing this topic in contrast to Tuesday's events. By not pulling this issue prior to the paper's release, you have lost a previously devoted reader.
Michael Costello, Chicago
For the September 16, 2001 Chicago Tribune Magazine to publish the two articles on unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayres at this time shows gross insensitivity and extremely poor editorial judgment.
Shame on you.
Eric Linne and Pamela Hutson, Chicago
Our nation is under attack, and we must defend ourselves. In the defense of our nation, we must all remember that we will not win this war without the help of our Islamic brothers and sisters. If we attack those whom we need the most, we will definitely lose this war. We will have become those whom we wish to vanquish. God bless this land and God preserve the Constitution of the United States of America.
Michael F. Gonzales, Deerfield
Your timing is superb... do a profile of a terrorist, and his terrorist wife, in your first magazine following the attack on the U.S. It was so wonderful to find this article in the same edition that carried a specialsection covering the attacks on Tuesday 9/11. I guess Ayers and his group are being held up as examples of 'responsible' Americans at this time because they did, according to the article, claim responsibilityfor..."about a dozen bombings from 1970-1974." My favorite lines were the quote from Ayers: "We weren't terrorists. The reason we weren't terroristsis because we did not commit random acts of terror against people." So blowing up a persons place of work, as he did, is not an act felt by thepeople that worked there? Had the 'real' terrorists that attacked on Tuesday called ahead and said what they were going to do, and had all the people gotten out of the buildings, and had no one been killed, then theattacks on Tuesday would not have been acts of terrorism... using Ayers' definition of why he is not a terrorist. Incredible... and you people seemso proud of yourselves for writing, editing, and publishing this. I congratulate Elizabeth Taylor for writing that cutesy little column on the inside cover that introduced the article and, I guess, for editing and getting the article published; Don Terry for being so proud of himself for writing this piece and thinking he was doing us some favor by doing so; and of course non-terrorist Ayers himself, along with his non-terrorist wife, for being such great Americans. Each of you is the type of person I'd surely like along my side in these difficult times for our country. Right. None of you are welcome in my home, but I sure hope you all drop by.
Robert Cernock, Brookfield
We have never been through anything like this before, so no one knows what's going to happen. This is not the time to lie down and make the claim of so many people during the past decade of "I am a victim." This is the time to fight. This is a time for accountability. This is a time for LOVE. This is the time to rally around each other and courageously, move forward with our lives. I totally support the president in his words and actions, however I DON'T think enough is being said in the media about NOT retaliating urging against lashing out against Muslim/Islamic/ Arab Americans. This must be repeated and reinforced to the American public, that we are all Americans and not to punish these people, for the handful of terrorist in the world.
Guy Lasorsa, Holyoke, Mass.
I was rather shocked, that in the wake of the tragedy, you choose to do a fluff piece on Weatherman terrorist Bill Ayers.
I read the article...what he did was no different than what the terrorists did to the towers...He was a terrorist and is unrepentant. How could you print this now?
Stephen Plumhoff, Grayslake
While there is little doubt that America is showing great courage and unity in the wake of Tuesday's tragedy, it is distressing to learn that citizens of Arabic background are being abused by e-mail and phone. We should remember the words written when this nation was founded- "All men are created equal." To be truly courageous, we must show that we will not allow our anger to control our actions.
James Stewart, CarbondaleCopyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times