Thanks to Youngstown from people of New York
I live and work near New York City and watched as our twin towers were destroyed. Soon after, during the rescue/recovery, I saw two large banners, made by the wonderful people of Youngstown, hanging proudly on a wall surrounding the Javits Convention Center, right where all the firemen and rescue workers from all over the country go to take a break from their backbreaking work.
Everyone who saw them appreciated them and the spirit in which they were created, surely including all the rescue workers.
I just wanted to let you know where they were and how much they are appreciated. We are all proud of the way the country has pulled together and thank you for your kind thoughts which help to get all of us through these difficult times.
New York City
The United States is not short on human goodness
If the recent actions of the New York Police and Fire departments aren't enough evidence of the strength of our bond as countrymen and humans, in general, perhaps an incident a bit closer to home will to restore your faith in mankind.
On the morning of Sept. 19, I was driving to Cleveland on the Ohio Turnpike when, in an effort to avoid another car, I swerved out of control, hitting the median and flipping my small SUV several times before sliding to a stop on the roof of the car. Miraculously, I climbed out of the window of the car virtually unharmed. Even more miraculously, when I staggered to my feet, there were no fewer than five people who had already stopped on the highway to help me.
One was a man who called 911, gave me his dress shirt to bind my bleeding hand and let me use his cell phone to call my husband. Another was a registered nurse who immediately produced a first aid kit and began to disinfect my cuts and scrapes. Another man took pictures of the accident with his digital camera, which he offered to e-mail me so that I could give them to my insurance company. A few others offered comfort until the police and ambulance arrived (within about two or three minutes of the accident).
None of these people had anything to gain personally by stopping. It was just after 9 a.m. Most were probably on their way to work. The man who gave his shirt and lent his cell phone definitely lost money -- I ruined the shirt and he paid for the call, not to mention the blood I left on his phone.
Looking back, I don't remember the nurse having gloves on. What did she know about me? I could have had any of a number of infectious diseases, to which she willingly exposed herself to help me. In addition, in our litigious society, she definitely exposed herself to legal action from some ungrateful stranger.
I don't know the full names of any of these people, but I hope that they live in the area and have access to this newspaper so that they know how grateful I am for this kindness. I don't remember much of the accident, but I will never forget the faces of these people who offered so much of themselves. If any of you are reading this, please know that the physical assistance you gave so willingly, though substantial, is far outweighed by the inspiration you offered me.
For the rest of you, tuck this little incident in the back of your mind and bring it out the next time you find yourself cynically grumbling about "kids these days" (both young men mentioned above looked to be in their early-to-mid 20s), selfish medical professionals, drivers with "road rage" or any other species of human fallibility. Even if our country isn't perfect, we must be doing something right. It might take unfortunate, tragic events to illuminate our basic goodness, but just remember that it is there when we need it most.
Catholics revere God of love and compassion
I had planned on not writing anything about the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, but now I feel compelled because of the remarks made by Father Witt recently.
Let me start by saying Father Witt does not speak for the Catholic community at large, especially those at St. Brendan Parish. The parishioners at St. Brendan support Father Witt wholeheartedly in his fight against the thoughtless slaughter of the unborn, but to say the terror attacks are from a vengeful god stretches the limits of good thinking and common sense.
The God I learned of (while at St. Brendan) is a god of love and compassion.
The Bible tells us that god so loved the world that he gave his only son to die for our sins. The Old Testament tells of God's promise never to harm the world again as he did in the days of Noah. To use the Bible to one's own end is common practice these days, and to put yourself as God's interpreter is a mistake in times of trouble as we are facing today.
We thank almighty god that only 5,000 people are missing. It is documented that 50,000 people are in those buildings every day. We thank God that the plane that crashed outside of Pittsburgh went down in a field. We thank him that the flights were nowhere near booked to capacity that were hijacked. We pray for the president and our troops as they look to find the person/people responsible. We ask that God receive the souls of the departed into his Kingdom of glory.
We do not use this tragedy as a soapbox for our insecurities against people's diverse lifestyles. That has nothing to do with what happened.
We hope to see an explanation from the Rev. Witt and an apology. We look, as a community of believers, forward to the healing that needs to take place with the help of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. We look for a return To a normalcy that may never come.
God bless America. God bless St. Brendan parish. God bless us all.
X The writer is chairman of St. Brendan Parish Pastoral Council.
Who is accountable for donated millions?
Unfortunately, it took our recent tragedies to get the American people to renew their patriotism and open their hearts to helping others.
In addition to the billions of dollars allocated from the government, there are millions of dollars being donated to an endless number of relief funds. My question is this: Exactly where is this money going and who is accounting for it? Who is deciding what goes where and who gets what? If there are too many hands in the pot we could have a real mess.
I just don't want to see this money wasted on some of the sharks who are going to swim in and take advantage of this unfortunate incident. I want to know it is going to be used wisely and where it is most needed. I am in no way trying to discourage donations but just believe it is an issue that needs to be carefully addressed.
Finally, I would like to remind people there are still many legitimate and worthwhile charities in our own community that are truly desperate and while you have your wallet open please try to remember them also.