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Dear Board of Editors:
I would like to express my utter disgust with your Editorial in the 9/13/01 edition, entitled “Details vague, message clear.” Your article makes the assertion that there is some excuse for this attack, that America needs to “wake up to our aggressive national bullying which intimidates but also stirs anger and hostility.” The article goes into a list of injustices that the United States has allegedly committed against others.
This is vulgar and horrendous. We should be uniting as a Nation, rallying around our fellow citizens with a sense of compassion and patriotism that has never before been seen. How dare the “News” point the finger of blame at anybody besides the terrorists who committed these acts. How dare they try to make a political point about the United States’ social actions at a time like this. You want to criticize our government and our people – take a look at Democrats and Republicans lining up side by side on the steps of the Capitol to sing “God Bless America” with tears in their eyes. Talk about the outpouring of volunteers, blood donors and support in general going out to the victims of this great tragedy. But do not try to make this Nation the “bad guy” that you spoke of with such lack of eloquence in your editorial. You should be ashamed of yourselves.
Political science major
Dear Board of Editors:
The debate over the idea of “too much technology” is one that has been causing controversy since the beginning of society. As new scientific discoveries are being made this debate continues and people ask not if scientists can perform new techniques, but rather should they perform this controversial research. Both sides of this argument have been heard from recently in light of new scientific research. Most recently in response to research done by a group of Boston scientists that hope to lengthen people’s lives. This new scientific research is not a crime against humanity, but rather another example of man changing his environment and thus transforming himself.
Through the application of scientific research, man has had to reconsider his relation to his environment and to other men. The discovery of new scientific ideas has always ushered in social change. Discoveries are always challenged by people, especially by those in power. Galileo’s ideas were met with much cynicism and disbelief. But it was through the tool of the telescope that questioned man’s relationship to nature dooming the medieval world. Bishops and cardinals, who counted dollars and cents rather than satisfaction, questioned Galileo’s results. And there were the church scientists who were wounded by art and science’s ultimate injury, they were not able to understand it anymore.
Although the discoveries of the Boston scientists may not have the significance of Galileo’s, they may be a stepping stone to yet a new tool and a new way of seeing human nature. The discovery of a way to lengthen human life is not a mistake by humanity, but rather a way to confront human nature. It is our responsibility to use this technology responsibly and if necessary, to change our way of life in order to accommodate a new development in our continuing journey as an unfinished and continually evolving species.
Dear Board of Editors:
“America will never be the same.” This phrase has been repeated over and over again by journalists, anchors, and much of the American public. But it’s true. America, once thought as untouchable, impenetrable, and worlds away from the problems that plague so much of our planet, now has come to the realization that we are not as separated from these problems as we once thought. In a matter of an hour on September 11, 2001, two symbols of American power, economically and militarily, became the targets of 19 people who, in the name of their God, aimed to bring the country to it’s knees.
In some ways, these 19 people were successful. Within minutes after the attacks, the cities of America were thrown into chaos. Center City Philadelphia, normally jammed with traffic, became jammed with people fleeing office buildings and high-rise apartments, fearing for their lives. The Schuylkill Expressway and other highways going into the city became eerily quiet, while outbound lanes were moving at a snail’s pace as people tried to distance themselves from what they thought would be the next targets. Businesses, government agencies, schools and universities citywide shut down. States of Emergency were declared. Mayor John Street scrambled to calm the city down, urging citizens to stay inside. Major landmarks and areas where large numbers of people normally convene were evacuated. For all intents and purposes, the city of Philadelphia was shut down.
And this just wasn’t happening in Philadelphia alone. The scene was repeated across the country. Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle. In almost every major city, people decided the best thing to do was be at home with their families, watching this terrible tragedy unfold, and pray for their safety and for those lost. No matter which channel you turned to, the horrible images of a commercial airliner flying into what possibly may be the most recognizable landmark in America were being played time and time again. MTV stopped their regular programming and began simulcasting CBS News. The Home Shopping Network cancelled its programming until further notice and was carrying live coverage. Americans felt numb and hopeless. How could such a ghastly act occur on our shores?
Within hours of these attacks, the figures began to roll in. 50,000 people worked in the World Trade Center. As many as 5,000 people were missing and unaccounted for. Companies began to inform the media that their entire staffs working in the building were missing. At least 100 were missing at the Pentagon. The New York Stock Exchange closed for four straight days as economists worried that the panic created by these attacks would plunge the market into a deep sell off, causing a recession in an already weak and meandering economy. Americans came to the realization that this was much worse than Pearl Harbor. In fact, to them it was much, much worse.
But what these terrorists underestimated was the resolve of the American people. The American Red Cross, suffering a serious shortage of blood, feared that the catastrophe would overextend its network. But that was not to be. Thousands upon thousands of people turned out to give blood. Many centers had to turn away people, as they could not handle the outpouring of support. A television station in Denver raised over $300,000 in a matter of 24 hours to aid in the relief effort. Flag sales shot through the roof. A person in New York City reported that he had sold 300 flags on a street corner in a matter of ten minutes. Americans, once listless in a time of uncertainty, had found a renewed sense of patriotism in their country. President Bush, who had vowed to change the tone in Washington but had not succeeded much in doing so, found a Congress completely united behind him regardless of political affiliation, without him having to do a single thing. Not a single member of Congress voted against a resolution to provide assistance to the relief effort and for future retaliation against those responsible. Almost overnight, a country responded to assist their fellow Americans and vowed to find those responsible and punish them.
If this tragedy has shown me one thing about America, it is that we are not as self-centered and selfish as I once thought. Even with all the partisan bickering in Washington, the racial tensions in our streets, and the lack of spirituality among many in our country, we have pulled together in a time of despair and need to heal those that need healing, care for those who need caring, and help those that need helping. It is a testament to the power of this country. We are no longer African-Americans, Latino-Americans, or even Arab-Americans for that matter. We are Americans, and darn proud of it. Maybe the journalists and anchors are right. America WILL never be the same.
God bless all the families and friends who have been directly affected by this tragedy, and most of all, God Bless America.