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We are not alone



Published: Fri, September 14, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The heartfelt expressions of sorrow, solidarity and solace have come from throughout the world. Our allies are ready to stand with us. Their people mourn our losses. Wherever the flags of democracy fly, they have been lowered to half staff out of respect for the Americans whose lives were lost at the bloody hands of murderous terrorists.

Tribute: From Europe to Africa, flowers and memorials have been laid at American embassies and consulates. At the U.S. embassy in Berlin, city firefighters laid roses to remember their colleagues killed when the World Trade Center collapsed as they searched for survivors. In Italy, politicians, clergymen and union leaders led marches to show their support for the United States.

But it was not just Americans who died in New York, in Washington or in the aircraft which the criminals turned into human bombs. England, Japan and Australia have learned of the deaths of dozens of their own people, with hundreds still missing. Among the names of our dead can be found the very meaning of America, a home for those whose origins are found on every continent.

Among the dead: Ogonowski, Ong, McGuinness, Arestegui, Nicosia, Aoyama, Aronson, Cuccinello, Dominguez, Filipov, Hashem, Jalbert, Mladenik, Montoya, Morabito, Rosenzweig, Kimmig, MacFarlane, Nassaney, Charlebois, Heidenberger, Betru, Bishundat, Tolbert, Khang, Yokum, Nguyen, Howell, Khang, Jones. Like muffled drumbeats, their names echo through the history of the United States.

When they or their forebears sought a better life, they came to America. They brought their hopes of a better future for themselves and their children, never imagining that those dreams would be shattered by a nightmare of profound evil perpetrated by those who would return the world to a time of darkness and dictatorship.

Those nations that stand with us know that these Americans died in the cause of democracy and liberty, and they know, too, of the hundreds of thousands of Americans who died to preserve freedom in foreign lands in years past.

Thus, it should be no wonder that Russia and NATO issued a rare joint statement on Thursday that they would join forces to find the culprits of Tuesday's attack, so they not go unpunished. Or that the European Commission President Romano Prodi said, & quot;In the darkest days of European history, America stood close by us and today we stand close by America."

Blaming the victim: Nor should it be a surprise that the voices of terrorism would rationalize the actions of their comrades-in-arms by blaming the victims and the United States for representing all that their hate opposes.

In a broadcast monitored by the BBC, Iraqi state television said: & quot;The American cowboy is reaping the fruits of his crimes against humanity. & quot; And Sheik Yassin, leader of the Islamic militant group Hamas, said: & quot;No doubt this is a result of injustice the U.S practices against the weak in the world. & quot; But it is the United States and its people that have been the true friend of the weak, the impoverished, the sick and the suffering. It is to America's embrace that the downtrodden of the world have longed to come, not to the arms of terrorists.

The people of the world have seen how "justice" is understood by the terrorist gangs that cloak their quest for domination in the garb of holy men. And they know that the world will not be safe for democracy until the wicked are brought to justice.




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