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Letters to the editor 9/11

September 11, 2002

Act before disaster



To the editor:


Why are we so quick to forget? It seems we've forgotten that 3,000 Americans lost their lives last year as a result of terrorist attacks. Right here in our own back yard, on our own soil! As a result, President Bush waged an all-out war on terrorism, not just Osama bin Laden.

Now, many of us feel that going after Saddam Hussein is unneccesary. Hussein is one of the world's most notorius terrorists and has consistantly violated the cease-fire agreements of the Persian Gulf war. Like it or not, Hussein hates us as does most of the Arab world, for simply being Americans and non-Muslim.

My suggestion is to just let Iraq go. Let Hussein build up his weapons of mass destruction. Forget him. Let's just mind our own business and let the other countries of the world do as they please! Forget Sept. 11 and the war on terrorism as many of us have done already. But when the day comes that Israel is wiped off the map and millions of Americans die in U.S. cities as a result of terrorism, I personally don't want to hear about it.

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When that time comes, I don't want to hear the same people urging restraint asking "why?" and demanding to know why something wasn't done beforehand.

Rob Butler

Hagerstown




Honor firefighters



To the editor:


Today, we mourn the loss of our brother and sister firefighters, lost in the terrorist attacks of 9/11. To the fire service, this is the greatest single loss of life ever experienced. The fire service is a huge family, and the loss will be with us forever.

Today, many will hold memorials, prayer services, or candlelight vigils to honor our fallen brothers and sisters. For that we are truly thankful. Many have called or stopped me on the street and asked what they can do to honor the fallen. Talk of a national holiday, statues, and memorial plaques are a few of the ideas mentioned. But when I think of the dedication of the fire service personnel, which is comprised of nearly 275,000 career and 800,000 volunteer personnel, they would say "just support our efforts and causes."

Firefighters are probably some of the most hard-working, dedicated individuals you will ever want to meet. They train countless hours to learn the skills to protect and serve their community. Responding to calls at any hour of the day or night, firefighters often miss out on family dinners, holidays, children's birthday parties, or anniversaries.

We are the only government agency to work to buy all the equipment we need, from the gloves that protect our hands so we can carry that child to safety to the fire truck that carries the water to put out the fire at your house. This is all accomplished by working spaghetti dinners, bingos and carnivals.

All of this is given without asking for a thank you. Some call us America's bravest or America's heroes, but I believe we are just good o'le boys and girls who still believe in serving their fellow man.

So how can you honor us? Just remember whether you are a homeowner, elected official, or a patron at a fundraiser, please support us. Nothing makes us happier than being able to serve you, our fellow man. Holidays would be nice, a plaque would help us remember, and we should remember those who gave their all. But for us the ability to save your life or property is what we are about and what we strive for each and every day.

Dale Fishack

Chief

Waynesboro Fire Department

Waynesboro, Pa.




A duty to run



To the editor:


I work for a congresswoman from Los Angeles and had just gotten to my office at the Rayburn Building beside the Capitol that day. On TV, we saw the second tower hit. Not long afterwards, the crash into the Pentagon was reported. We had just decided to leave when an evacuation was ordered.

I found out later that friends who worked in the Capitol had been told to run away from the building because they thought a plane was headed for it. We gathered at my boss' nearby house and watched TV, horrified. An hour later, I was finally able to get through to my family and tell them I was OK. Now, my worry was getting home to Frederick. There was pandemonium on the streets of Washington. Thousands of evacuated federal workers were sitting in backed-up traffic or walking around. Emergency vehicles rushed by - no one knew where to - with shrieking sirens. Union Station had closed, leaving my usual MARC trains unavailable. Hundreds of people milled about outside.

In the days that followed, I felt and shared the nation's patriotic feeling, but I also had a different reaction. I was certainly sorry for those who had been killed, but it dawned on me that firemen rush into burning buildings every day, and that police officers put their lives on the line every time they report for a shift. While important to honor the sacrifice of those affected by this tragedy, I thought it was important to use the national resolve as a time to pause and reassess our country with all its warts, and do what was necessary to make it the great nation we all believe it to be.

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