Younger Americans must face challenges endured by earlier generations
I found myself thinking about my dad yesterday. I am 44 years old and wish I could have asked him for his advice. My dad survived the Depression, fought in Normandy during D-Day, and lived to be nearly 80.
His words of advice and comfort would have meant so much to me. My generation, the baby boomers, have had it so easy our entire lives. I wonder: How will we measure up to my father's generation? What kind of sacrifices will we need to make in the coming days and months? Do we have the mettle? I hope we can make our country proud, because I have a sinking feeling things are going to get far worse before they get better.
No remorse for those who would harm U.S.
I have cried for the children of Palestine and Israel (and the rest of the world too, to be honest). I have tried to understand and make sense of their parents' strife. But today my tears have dried up, and my compassion and hope for both sides in the Middle Eastern conflict have completely evaporated.
I lived among the Arabs for two years, from 1978 until 1980. My father was a civilian engineer working in Saudi Arabia at the time, and my family lived there with him.
I witnessed the removal of fingers, hands and heads of common thieves, rapists and murderers in the town square of Al Khobar. I also witnessed, first-hand, the executions of some of the terrorists who took over the Mosque in Mecca at that time. That is the Middle Eastern version of & quot;justice & quot; -- an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. And that is the type of justice the United States needs to extract from the cowards who attacked our country today.
My normally sympathetic attitude towards both sides of the Middle East conflict has turned to disgust, outrage and outright hatred in light of the senseless, cowardly attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon today. The civilians of America have absolutely nothing to do with the religious/political squabbling in the Middle East, regardless of our leaders' actions and opinions.
If the Arabs and Jews want to blow each other up, that's their business. But if they want to blow up Americans, who as a people only want peace (generally), I say we level them all. Period.
America has the firepower to turn their sandy deserts into glass (anyone remember Dresden, Germany?). We also have the financial and political power to exclude them completely (even permanently) from all participation in the world economy.
I know that our country has intentionally (and wisely) refrained from & quot;acquiring & quot; our enemies' lands and resources, but when our enemies flagrantly break the rules of international citizenry, I believe we are more than justified to return the favor. Especially when they and their children dance in the streets over the deaths of innocent, hapless American civilians.
The remorseless murderers who attacked our country today think that we Americans are blinded by our ideals of fairness and justice. Our ideals may be lofty, but we are not fools. We should crush those responsible for these acts in a very public, very definitive manner --and send a very clear message to anyone considering similar actions that they will be annihilated.
Prayers for peace and courage needed now
Like so many others, I stared at my television set Tuesday and watched a horrific tragedy unfold before my eyes. Watching only made me more and more upset, yet I could not turn away.
As I watched the rescuers become the victims in New York and our military center attacked in Washington, I asked myself again and again, what could spawn such hatred that someone felt justified to use people as so much fodder on planes turned into bombs. The smoke, the flames, the collapsing buildings have been horribly imprinted on my mind.
Out of all this confusion, two words came to me: "peace" and "courage." It is all too easy to respond to such a despicable crime with more hate, but somehow, we as a people must seek peace in our individual hearts and pray for peace for our nation and our world. We will all need courage in the coming days and weeks of turmoil and inconvenience.
There are things we can do to help one another get through this. We are not an impotent people.
God bless us all.
MARGARET R. FLOYD
Gas price gouging reflects wrong American spirit
In light of the horrific events of Sept. 11, 2001, nowhere was American spirit more embodied than in gas pump prices. The gas companies certainly rallied to the cause. When tough get going, the tough get screwed.
The reign of terror has its home office in your local gas companies.
LOUIS M. TOTH
U.S. should obliterate terrorist groups
As you said in Tuesday's paper, this attack can only be seen as an act of war.
However, should we waste many more American lives? I think not. This country has both the fire power and the technology to destroy whoever (or which ever group) organized, supported and carried out this attack. America and her supporters should use our technology to destroy -- no, not destroy -- to obliterate anyone and any country involved with this attack.
As long as we as a country stand idly by in the wake of this attack, it makes us appear weak and encourages more attacks of similar magnitude.
As long as the Palestinians celebrate, they should be the first to be destroyed. If they as a community celebrate this loss of life, the United States should allow them to celebrate the loss of Palestinian as well as American lives. They say America is the cause of many injustices in other parts of the world, but is it not injustice to cause pain and suffering to people who have no control over the matter?
America should not stand by and allow a people to celebrate when there is such a tremendous loss of resources and lives.
Terrorist acts betray American vulnerability
Over the last 20 years, the American people have given up basic and important freedom because the search process at airports was needed to provide for the security of our country and ourselves.
As was shown today, airport security is a myth, and it turns out that terrorists are limited only by their ability to recruit pilots.
This brings America's vulnerability into sharp focus. Today there could have been 25 or 50 planes hijacked. It could have been 25 or 50 cities and millions of casualties in those cities. Some of our best and most famous airports -- Dulles, Newark and Boston -- proved to have easily penetrated security systems.
No one really believed we were this vulnerable to an attack of this magnitude.
Not since the War of 1812 has the American civilian population been attacked on the mainland by a foreign entity. Pearl Harbor, believe me, was far, far away. Not even the Civil War compares to today's events as a display of our now unmistakable, personal vulnerability.
D-Day veteran sees worse situation in New York
I was 18 years old when I heard of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
At 19, I was with the First Infantry division when we landed on Omaha Beach at H-Hour on D-Day, June 6, 1944. I thought I had seen a lot until watching this on television today.
After being with all the dead and wounded on D-Day, I can imagine what the people in New York are going through and my prayers and thoughts are with them.
The ones responsible for this cowardly act will get a swift response from the United States for their horrendous act.
JOHN G. DILLON
Quick strike called for
I think the United States should strike quick and hard. Don't give the terrorists a chance to be ready for us. I also think we should stop helping these foreign countries. The more we help, the more they crap on us.