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> > Published Wednesday, September 12, 2001
> > The Miami Herald
> > Leonard Pitts
> >
> > We'll go forward from this moment
> >
> > It's my job to have something to say.
> >
> > They pay me to provide words that help make sense of
> > that which troubles the American soul. But in this moment of
> > airless shock when hot tears sting disbelieving eyes, the only
> > thing I can find to say, the only words that seem to fit, must be
> > addressed to the unknown author of this suffering.
> >
> > You monster. You beast. You unspeakable bastard.
> > What lesson did you hope to teach us by your coward's
> > attack on our World Trade Center, our Pentagon, us? What was it
> > you hoped we would learn? Whatever it was, please know that you
> > failed.
> >
> > Did you want us to respect your cause? You just
> > damned your cause.
> > Did you want to make us fear? You just steeled our
> > resolve.
> > Did you want to tear us apart? You just brought us
> > together.
> >
> > Let me tell you about my people. We are a vast and
> > quarrelsome family, a family rent by racial, social, political
> > and class division, but a family nonetheless. We're frivolous, yes,
> > capable of expending tremendous emotional energy on pop cultural
> > minutiae, a singer's revealing dress, a ball team's misfortune, a
cartoon
> > mouse. We're wealthy, too, spoiled by the ready availability of
> > trinkets and material goods, and maybe because of that, we walk through
> > life with a certain sense of blithe entitlement. We are
> > fundamentally decent, though -- peace-loving and compassionate. We
struggle
> > to know the right thing and to do it. And we are, the
> > overwhelming majority of us, people of faith, believers in a just and
> > loving God.
> >
> > Some people -- you, perhaps -- think that any or all
> > of this makes us weak. You're mistaken. We are not weak. Indeed, we
> > are strong in ways that cannot be measured by arsenals.
> >
> > IN PAIN
> > Yes, we're in pain now. We are in mourning and we are
> > in shock. We're still grappling with the unreality of the awful
> > thing you did, still working to make ourselves understand that this
isn't
> > a special effect from some Hollywood blockbuster, isn't the plot
> > development from a Tom Clancy novel. Both in terms of the awful scope of
> > their ambition and the probable final death toll, your attacks are
> > likely to go down as the worst acts of terrorism in the history of the
> > United States and probably, the history of the world. You've bloodied
> > us as we have never been bloodied before.
> > But there's a gulf of difference between making us
> > bloody and making us fall. This is the lesson Japan was taught to its
> > bitter sorrow the last time anyone hit us this hard, the last time
> > anyone brought us such abrupt and monumental pain. When roused, we are
> > righteous in our outrage, terrible in our force. When provoked by
> > this level of barbarism, we will bear any suffering, pay any cost,
> > go to any length, in the pursuit of justice.
> > I tell you this without fear of contradiction. I know
> > my people, as you, I think, do not. What I know reassures me. It also
> > causes me to tremble with dread of the future.
> > In the days to come, there will be recrimination and
> > accusation, fingers pointing to determine whose failure allowed
> > this to happen and what can be done to prevent it from happening
> > again. There will be heightened security, misguided talk of revoking
> > basic freedoms. We'll go forward from this moment sobered, chastened,
> > sad. But determined, too. Unimaginably determined.
> >
> > THE STEEL IN US
> > You see, the steel in us is not always readily
> > apparent. That aspect of our character is seldom understood by people
who
> > don't know us well. On this day, the family's bickering is put on
> > hold.
> >
> > As Americans we will weep, as Americans we will
> > mourn, and as Americans, we will rise in defense of all that we
> > cherish.
> > So I ask again: What was it you hoped to teach us? It
> > occurs to me that maybe you just wanted us to know the depths of
> > your hatred. If that's the case, consider the message received. And
> > take this message in exchange: You don't know my people. You
> > don't know what we're capable of. You don't know what you just
> > started.
> > But you're about to learn.
> >
> >
> > Frank Leone
> > Tech Services
> > Oregonian Publishing Company
> > (503) 221-8026
Permission is given by the author to forward to anyone, as long as you keep
her name and copy write information intact.

It snowed in New York City
But the sky was bright and clear.
There was a quake that shook the Nation
One the whole world could hear.

From the Pentagon to Pennsylvania
to where our eastern border ends
There amidst the rubble
Lay our family and friends.

Our freedom has been compromised
Our children now live in fear
Even though we've been told since Pearl Harbor
that it could never happen here.

This enemy we call terrorist
Tonight, we say to you...
We will offer our prayers, our blood, our lives
to help each other see this through.

We will stand together as a nation
based on democracy
We will pray for those who have given their lives
so that our country will always be free.

It snowed in New York City
in some way, effecting us all
as it covered our streets with a layer of ash
It gave us a wake up call.

Don't lower your head unless it's to pray
Don't fly your flags half mast
Let's show these faceless cowards
that we intend to kick some ass.

Through it all, we stand together
and when the day is done
Our faith will be stronger than ever
God bless us everyone

Tena Bastian
bearbkra@aol.com
copyright 2001
> AN OPEN LETTER TO TERRORISTS
> > by jwillis@bellatlantic.net
> > (Jim Willis & Nicole Valentin-Willis/Tiergarten
> > Sanctuary Trust)
> >
> >
> > I don't know your name, or names - we may never
> know
> > who you are - so I
> > can't address you personally. Today, you killed
> > several thousands of our
> >
> > friends...perhaps not people who we knew
> personally,
> > but people like us.
> >
> > People who worked hard to make a living, who loved
> > someone, who were
> > loved by someone, who worried about making a
> better
> > life for their
> > children and grandchildren, who believed in God
> and
> > the American Dream,
> > who criticized this country for its
> insufficiencies
> > and cared enough to
> > try and change things and ensure a better future,
> > not just for us, but
> > for the world. People who leave behind scores of
> > loved ones, friends,
> > pets, neighbors, coworkers, and members of their
> > faiths. Perhaps even
> > people who derived from your own country and who
> > sought refuge here.
> > Your act was a slaughter of the innocents.
> >
> > You are like an insidious cancer that strikes
> > without warning, ravages
> > bodies, tears families apart, and in the end can
> > never destroy the soul.
> >
> > You are the ultimate coward.
> >
> > You may topple our buildings, collapse our
> > communication systems,
> > disrupt our government, crash our markets, and
> leave
> > behind the carnage
> > of bodies, but you will never destroy the soul of
> > America. We made this
> > country from the bits and pieces of the rest of
> the
> > world; we took the
> > best, the worst of every culture and nationality,
> > race and creed, and
> > made an alloy that may be dented, but not even a
> > trial by fire can melt.
> >
> > I don't know what god you believe in, or what
> > hateful rhetoric you
> > espouse, or what your misguided political beliefs
> > might be that allows
> > you to do what you did today without a fear of
> > eternal damnation. I only
> >
> > know that you may win a battle or two, but you
> will
> > never win this war.
> > We have the entire history of the world on our
> side,
> > and no dictator,
> > despot, or madman has survived as long as America
> > has thrived and
> > prospered. If you accomplished anything at all
> > today, it was to give
> > America a wake-up call, and we will now rise up
> > stronger than before.
> > You are defeated before you've even begun, there
> in
> > your private hell
> > and later in your eternal one. Someday your people
> > may even need our
> > help, and because we are America, we would
> respond.
> >
> > May God bless the friends we lost, their families,
> > friends, neighbors
> > and coworkers. We will help them rebuild from the
> > ashes. May God
> > continue to bless America, help her to protect us
> > all, and may she
> > continue to shine as a beacon of democracy and
> hope
> > to the rest of the
> > world.
> >
> > Copyright Jim Willis 2001
> > In deepest sympathy to those who have lost a loved
> > one.
> > Permission to share.
I just came from a vert moving prayer meeting at church, and found this on my computer when I got home. I am so grateful to the one who sent it to me, and I would have been disappointed if I had NOT found something like this here tonight. I am passing it along to you....
Dear Heavenly Father,
We are moved by the alarming news and crisis that our country is
facing. This, the greatest nation, founded in the believe that "In
God We Trust" & the "Land of the Free". Please have mercy on those
suffering, hurting and in fear, and give wisdom & strength to those who are
assisting. May the forces of evil be broken by your power and may
we humble before thee, our strength and refuge.
Give wisdom to all our President & our leaders and bring your
comforting peace through the power of your Holy Spirit. Help us here to
reach to those that have been affected by this tragedy.
In the name of our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus. AMEN

 
BY DAVE BARRY
>
> No humor column today. I don't want to write it, and you don't want to
> read it.
>
> No words of wisdom, either. I wish I were wise enough to say something
> that would help make sense of this horror, something that would help
> ease the unimaginable pain of the victims' loved ones, but I'm not
> that wise. I'm barely capable of thinking. Like many others, I've
> spent the hours since Tuesday morning staring at the television
> screen, sometimes crying, sometimes furious, but mostly just stunned.
>
> What I can't get out of my mind is the fact that they used our own
> planes. I grew up in the Cold War, when we always pictured the threat
> as coming in the form of missiles -- sleek, efficient death machines,
> unmanned, hurtling over the North Pole from far away. But what came,
> instead, were our own commercial airliners, big friendly flying buses
> coming from Newark and Boston with innocent people on board. Red,
> white and blue planes, with ``United'' and ``American'' written on the
> side. The planes you've flown in and I've flown in. That's what they
> used to attack us. They were able to do it in part because our airport
> security is pathetic. But mainly they were able to do it because we
> are an open and trusting society that simply is not set up to cope
> with evil men, right here among us, who want to kill as many Americans
> as they can.
>
> That's what's so hard to comprehend: They want us to die just for
> being Americans. They don't care which Americans die: military
> Americans, civilian Americans, young Americans, old Americans. Baby
> Americans. They don't care. To them, we're all mortal enemies. The
> truth is that most Americans, until Tuesday, were only dimly aware of
> their existence, and posed no threat to them. But that doesn't matter
> to them; all that matters is that we're Americans.
>
> And so they used our own planes to kill us.
>
> And then their supporters celebrated in the streets.
>
> I'm not naive about my country. My country is definitely not always
> right; my country has at times been terribly wrong. But I know this
> about Americans: We don't set out to kill innocent people. We don't
> cheer when innocent people die.
>
> A DECENT PEOPLE.
> The people who did this to us are monsters; the people who cheered
> them have hate-sickened minds.
>
> One reason they can cheer is that they know we would never do to them
> what their heroes did to us, even though we could, a thousand times
> worse. They know that when we hunt down the monsters, we will try hard
> not to harm the innocent. Those are the handcuffs we willingly wear,
> because for all our flaws, we are a decent people.
>
> And now we are a traumatized people. The TV commentators keep saying
> that the attacks have awakened a ``sleeping giant.'' And I guess we do
> look like a giant, to the rest of the world. But when I look around, I
> don't see a giant: I see millions of individuals -- the resilient and
> caring citizens of New York and Washington; the incredibly brave
> firefighters, police officers and rescue workers risking their lives
> in the dust and flames; the politicians standing on the steps of the
> Capitol and singing an off-key rendition of God Bless America that,
> corny as it was, had me weeping; the reporters and photographers who
> have not slept, and will not sleep, as long as there is news to
> report; the people in my community, and communities across America,
> lining up to give blood, wishing they could do more.
>
> A GOOD COUNTRY
> No, I don't see a giant. What I see is Americans. We may have the
> power of a giant, but we also have the heart of a good and generous
> people, and we will get through this. We will grieve for our dead, and
> tend to our wounded, and repair the damage, and tighten our security,
> and put our planes back in the air. Eventually most of us, the ones
> lucky enough not to have lost somebody, will resume our lives. Some
> day, our country will track down the rest of the monsters behind this,
> and make them pay, and I suppose that will make most of us feel a
> little better. But revenge and hatred won't be why we'll go on. We'll
> go on because we know this is a good country, a country worth keeping.
>
> Those who would destroy it only make us see more clearly how precious
> it is.


 
> >The Words They Long To Hear
It began like any other day
All sunny, bright and new  
But little did we know  
The horror we'd go through  
Hurrying to our jobs  
Or rushing off to school
Did we stop to say "I love you?"
Which should be our "golden rule"
At 8:45 the nightmare began
The first of four attacks
This can't be happening to our nation
We always watch our backs
Stunned by what we saw
Our tears began to flow
We shake our heads in disbelief
This simply can't be so
Through smoke and ash we see the truth
As sad as it can may be
A nation thought invincible
By Americans like me
Our country will recover
In that I do believe
But from this day forward
We will never be naive
Tonight I hugged my children
As I tucked them into bed
I told them that I loved them
After stories that we read
This is something that I always do
But yet I failed to see
How quickly it could end
And be taken away from me
Somewhere in this country
A child was put to bed
Filled with sorrow in the knowledge
That their Mom or Dad was dead
I will never take for granted
The ones I love so dear
I will always take the time
To say the words they long to hear