Now comes the image of Satan, straight from the depths of hell — Osama bin Laden.
We see our jet airliners being used as weapons of mass destruction, either killing or mutilating thousands of innocent human beings on American soil.
So, from whom do we exact justice upon? Do we seek out these so-called cells of demented cowards, who believe that becoming martyrs for their religious beliefs will afford them a shortcut to heaven, and bring them before one of our high courts as we did with the cowards who first attempted to destroy the World Trade Center?
Was this simply another criminal act?
I would strongly agree with George W. Bush and his statement that “This is an act of war.” I would further agree with Mr. Bush, as he stated, that we will not differentiate between those who carried out this cowardly act and those who harbor them.
The Clinton administration received warning after warning of this type of attack, and yet nothing but lip service was given by his administration as he and we did not want to appear to be warmongers — which might have affected the way we were perceived by the liberals of this country, and by the alleged perception of our country by the rest of the world.
What do you think now, as you view the images of Sept. 11, 2001? If I were to outline my own opinion of how our military should react, it would probably not make print in The Wenatchee World. Read between the lines and draw your own conclusion (which I’m sure most of you have).
If you will note, I have not used the word “terrorist” once. To me, that word lends the subhuman garbage of Sept. 11 much too much credence. From now on, let us all acknowledge them for what they truly are — cowards.
In the last week, we have gone through some terrible times in our country. Overall, it has brought most of the people together — except for some.
In 1968 I was in Vietnam, at the time of the Tet Offensive. I lost friends out of my unit there. Then I read of others who left the United States and ran off to Canada. To them I said, “Coward!”
Then I heard of a woman who went to North Vietnam. We called her Hanoi Jane. To her I still say, “Traitor!”
Now, in this time, I hear people in our Wenatchee Valley say that the U.S. deserved what happened to them. I say, “Hypocrite and fool.” To live in this great country that has done more for the rest of the world than any other and say these kinds of things must take a fool.
To help them know what a real fool is, perhaps they should read the book of Proverbs.
Fred Van Horn
We wonder how the world would change if the people of the United States were to respond to the great tragedy of Sept. 11, not by spending billions for war and destruction, but by spending even half those dollars to help people all around the world who are suffering from terrible hunger, disease and economic conditions.
We would be saying: We were attacked in hatred and rage, but we choose to respond as brothers and sisters to those who also hurt. We choose not war and destruction, but peace and healing.
Shirley C. Tucker, Norman C. Veach, Bill Kiehn, Laurelie Mingo, Lavonne Kiehn, Michael Dull, Rita M. Clark, Bob Anderson, Joann Anderson, Trueman Tucker
East Wenatchee, Wenatchee, Leavenworth
What happened to New York City and Washington, D.C., was the biggest and saddest thing that has happened to the USA during my life. I am a young American female and feel horror and sadness for those who lost loved ones.
But this gives us no right to go after our fellow Americans and those of Muslim descent who live in our country.
When the Oklahoma bombing happened we as Americans did not go after each other, even though Tim McVeigh was a white man just like us.
Those who go after the Muslim people are no better then those who killed all those people in New York and Washington. Two wrongs do not make a right.
So we, as Americans, need to stand together and love one another and keep our heads up high.
May God bless each and every one of us.
Invisible no more
I watched the news last night and got misty-eyed thinking about the police officers, firemen and rescue workers buried in the rubble. I realized that I take our police officers, firemen, and rescue workers for granted. In fact, unless we are being pulled over for a traffic violation, or our house is on fire, they are invisible. They are always there putting themselves in harm’s way for us on a daily basis. They never know at the start of their shift what they will be called upon to do, or what life-threatening situations they will be put in to protect us, They do this willingly, on a daily basis. They deserve our thanks, and our respect, on a daily basis.
Blake A. Murray
Peace, not revenge
First off, let me just say that I, like the rest of the country, am deeply saddened by the events which occurred on Sept. 11. I feel as though my generation — I was born in the 1980s — has lost its innocence.
However, I find myself outraged by the attitudes of some of my fellow Americans toward this tragedy.
This very paper reported that some individuals’ sentiment was that we ought to “bomb the hell out of them.” Who, exactly, are “them,” anyway? I find it interesting that President Bush has declared us to be a nation at war, although we are still unaware of the identity of our adversaries.
We see the flags waving all over town, the signs stating the need for solidarity and hope, but beneath the surface, hatred, paranoia and prejudice are also on the rise.
When will we — not just as Americans but as humans — realize that the wounds caused by violence and destruction will not be healed through more violence and more destruction?
An attack on another nation would only serve to cost more innocent lives. It could never bring back those we’ve lost.
Don’t send us to war, President Bush. Strive for peace, not revenge.
Political correctness kills
The majestic twin towers of the World Trade Center were destroyed by the political correctness of our time.
All of the innocent employees who worked in the skyscrapers were killed. All of the airline passengers, the flight crews, the pilots and rescue workers were killed by our passion for political correctness at all costs. Now we know the cost.
Political correctness at airport screenings precludes real screening. Our screeners are not allowed to see color.
Our politicians scream about education, but we are forbidden to use the education that we do have.
Example: Six passengers aboard an airline, who are obviously of Middle Eastern descent. Our education tells us that the Middle Eastern countries hate America. They refer to us as the Great Satan. They willingly blow themselves up if they are privileged to kill us in the process but airport screeners are no allowed to use that knowledge as a factor in screening airport passengers.
All of those Middle Easterners have a distinct color, but this cannot be used as a factor for extra screening. All of them have easily identifiable names that peg them to those countries that hate us with suicidal hatred, but their color and names are not allowed to be factors for extra screening.
The Middle Easterners’ non-use of our language is also not allowed to be a factor.
So our screeners were barred by political correctness from doing their job. Names, color and the non-use of English or broken English were not allowed to be screening factors for passengers because we might hurt the feelings of Arab-Americans. Instead, we allow a carefully crafted murder plot to proceed.
If our airport screeners had been allowed to consider these factors for extra screening, the World Trade Center would still be there. The airplanes would still be intact and all of the people who died would still be alive.
Note from Holland
This is an e-mail we received from our cousin, Margriet Bakker of Holland, on Sept. 14. I thought it would be nice to share:
“Just a few moments ago Europe was silent.
“For three minutes, cars, trains, trams and factories — everything — stood still in memory of the victims of the attacks in America.
“Then the church bells started to ring and the TV played your national hymn.
“I wanted to let you know that we are there with you all. We have to stay close together and work close together, to get this threat under control. And we love you all.”
Willa Reynolds and the Baker family
New York moves ahead
I am the daughter of Nelson N. and Virginia H. Martin of East Wenatchee. A daughter of Eastern Washington. Born in Spokane and reared during the summers and holidays by my grandparents and their circle of friends in the Wenatchee Valley.
Since college I have resided in the East Village of New York City, a city that I love for it is ever in a constant state of change. a city of diverse cultures, art and commerce.
Sept. 11, 2001. This day has forever transformed our lives. The Canyon of Heroes is now located at Ground Zero. To this day, firefighters, police and many out-of-state volunteer rescue workers keep their emotions in check, push their tired bruised bodies to remove the debris and hold on to the hope of a miracle of finding life.
My neighborhood is draped in black-and-purple mourning banners for the loss of our heroic firefighters. But, it is the American flag that truly blankets my city, from the corner deli, to the apartment building windows, Union Square and the familiar yellow taxi cabs, the Stars and Stripes are displayed proudly. With the leadership of a man born to be the mayor of NYC: Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, my city is moving. Back to work, back to school, back to the museums and theaters. Back to life.
I wish to thank the Wooten family, Thelma and Marge at the YWCA, Cashmere Methodist Church, Cascade Christian Academy, my friends at Pickle Papers, and to all in the Wenatchee Valley who placed me and my city in their prayers. The expression of love and concern has overwhelmed me and wrapped me in a quilt of love from home. Thank you all.
Regina P. Martin
New York City
I thought I’d outrun the specter of that foul terrorist war many of us attended 35 years ago, but now he is roosting on our doorsteps.
I encounter people every day living normal lives and getting irate due to delays and closures at some facilities.
The private guards there — your fellow citizens — deserve some tribute, not derision. It is their job to be on a high level of alertness, and to be under- standing of a populace majority that doesn’t yet feel personally threatened.
To these neighbors of ours who are already on a war footing and putting in long hours, day and night, to protect essential facilities, be grateful. Kudos and hurrahs to: Al Riedlinger, Lee Childress, William Hicks, Carl Marlin, Jonathan Jones, Sheri Pardo, Mark Headley, John Vickrey and Chester Harmon.
Remember this lesson I discovered as a young trooper in the Republic of Vietnam: There are no rear echelons in a terrorist war, and the enemy is indistinguishable from the good guys.
These security officers are putting themselves smack on the perimeter of freedom. God bless Americans!
Change in thinking
After the attack on America by the terrorists, my first reaction was shock, fear, and then anger. I wanted my government to launch every missile we have bought over the last few years into that country until they hand over bin Laden.
Then I started reading up on Afghanistan. They have literally nothing left to blow up. We can fire the missiles, but the only thing we will hurt will be the dirt.
As of right now there are at least 2 million refugees who can’t be fed, and that number it is growing by the hour.
This situation reminds me of after World War II, when Europe was getting ready to turn to communism because of all the destruction. How did we stop the communists from taking over?
We started the Marshall Plan and we rebuilt the countries so that they could survive on their own, and the communists were voted out pretty quick. The same principle can be applied here. Can you imagine what would happen if the people over there realized that the United States is capable of feeding them while their own government isn’t? It’s not fast and dirty as some people would like, but it would eventually achieve our goals without having to fill thousands of body bags with more innocent Afghans or U.S. troops.
We are writing this letter to thank the employees of Tree Top and some anonymous citizen.
Recently, our American flag was stolen off our front fence, right on Cottage Avenue in Cashmere. Our entire family was in disbelief.
Our children, a 7- and an 8- year-old, asked, “Mom, why would someone steal our flag?”
We did not know what to say.
Anyway, on to our story of thanks. A few days later, a flag on a pole appeared on our fence — no note, no nothing, just someone’s kind heart.
Another day passed, and two employees from Tree Top stopped by with a package and a note. They said they felt bad for us and wanted to help.
The other employees and these two kind folks pooled their money and bought us an American flag bigger than the one that was stolen.
Our family would just like to say thank you, and we are glad that there are people out there who are kind and caring. As you drive up Cottage Avenue and see our flag flying high, be reminded of the thoughtful people in our community.
I now know what to say to our children. Sometimes bad things happen in this world, and it is up to you to do your best to help others and to always be kind and caring. Then there will be two more people in this world to help make up for the ones who don’t do their best.
Thank you, kind and caring citizens.
Jim and Janina Riggs
Never the same
I believe that the United States will not be the same after the attacks of Sept. 11. These events will make this country safer but the fear will always be in all of us. I feel very sorry for those who had to die and the destruction that was put upon those places.
I know that everybody wants to see the ones responsible punished. I believe that there is no punishment, just or fair, for something like this, because nothing will bring the lost ones back. This doesn’t mean that a harsh punishment shouldn’t be delivered, but when this punishment is executed the whole world will know that the United States of America is not a place for their unwelcome acts.
Bridgeport High School
I have always been one to see the good and not dwell on the bad. I take time to grieve and be angry, then I look for the positive.
The terrorist attack on America hit everyone hard. I see people coping by way of anger and frustration. Some are in denial and won’t acknowledge openly that it really happened.
I believe this is because a tragedy of this nature and degree is so incomprehensible it has left us all confused and in shock. We do not want to accept the fact that the world can be such an ugly place,
Many in our country want revenge, some want justice, others want things to go back the way they were.
Unfortunately, we can’t go back in time — but we can look for the way to a better world. We can look for justice and we can look for a way to see this doesn’t happen again.
As I look around me, I find a country whose people are setting other matters aside to help each other. I see all kinds of people reaching out to do whatever they can to help each other heal and be strong.
I have seen more American flags than ever before, as we show our support and acknowledge our loss.
What I see is a good thing. Americans are strong in each other. The way I look at it, if the terrorists were trying to break us, it backfired.
“United we stand. Divided we fall.” We are a country that stands together.
Da Wona Tumilson
To Wenatchee, from New York City
Dear people of Wenatchee,
I am a local disaster volunteer of the American Red Cross in Brooklyn, N.Y., and am working at the headquarters facility at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge.
Today I had the pleasure of unloading what seemed like a truckload of teddy bears and stuffed animals from Wenatchee. My job today was to unload the truck and open the boxes to look for addresses so that the Red Cross could send back a thank-you, then sealing them up again and sending them off on their missions of love.
I learned that being the teddy bear guy can make you very popular as well, since I had the double pleasure of handing some out to Red Cross volunteers, National Guardsmen, New York Police officers and firefighters and the vast majority of them will continue on to the families of those who lost loved on ones on that unforgettable day.
I myself lost two good friends that day. One was a firefighter (and fellow physical therapist). The other was a court officer who was off duty when the buildings were attacked and he just rushed in to help. They are the reason who I joined the Red Cross in the first place.
Now, back to those bears. Being a typical Bronx-born New Yorker, I never had an affinity for stuffed animals until tonight. The messages you sent have touched my heart and made me realize and wake up to the fact that I am a part of something so great and wonderful. I am an American surrounded by Americans who care so much.
Tonight, I rode the subway home, the A Train passing underneath Ground Zero, in my dusty work boots and blue jeans, hardhat under my arm, work gloves poking out my back pocket. Jammed in my jacket is a little brown Beanie bear with little yellow cardboard heart hanging from a ribbon and on it was written “With love from Wenatchee, WA.”
Thank you all and may God Bless you. And may God bless America.
Queens, New York