Letters to the Editor 9/12

Attacks herald time for prayers, positive thoughts

Yesterday, Sept. 11, 2001 ? a date which will live in infamy ? the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by a mysterious enemy.

Similar words spoken over 60 years ago by FDR are now once again eerily applicable. As I watched the horrific footage emanating out of New York and Washington, D.C., I kept reminding myself that this was real. This was not a movie. The explosions and crashes filling my screen were happening in real time, in a real place.

Not only were these acts of violence authentic, they were happening in my own country.

Terrorists attacked America.

Like many Americans, I was in a state of shock. This sort of unprecedented brutality is the sort of thing that happens in movies or in countries halfway around the globe. How could this happen in the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Well, wake up America. We are not immune to terrorism. Now is the time for action. In the film, Pearl Harbor, a Japanese military leader made an accurate statement after the attack on Hawaii, ?I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant.?

While we do not know the identity of our attackers at this time, we can assure them of one thing, we will not take this lying down.

Now is the time for Americans to forget their differences and rally against our attackers. As a nation, let us send out our prayers and positive thoughts to the friends and families who have lost their lives in these horrific acts of violence.

Erica Burdette is a senior majoring in public relations.

Refrain from prejudging who perpetrated attacks

After viewing footage and hearing reports of Tuesday morning?s tragic terrorist attacks in New York, Washington D.C. and elsewhere throughout the northeastern United States, I would like to briefly put down some of my thoughts for consideration, as they are now.

First, such a catastrophic and blatant attack on U.S. soil shatters the entrenched American perspective of relative isolation and security from the rest of the world. Though we read of tragedy and despair in the papers on a daily basis, it is always somewhat remote and detached as we (perhaps somberly) go on with our daily affairs. Violence of this nature was relegated either to distant places or the Hollywood movie screen.

Now, however, the landmarks are familiar, the names recognizable. I imagine the majority of Americans recognize the very real and distinct possibility that it very well could have been either them or someone close. International affairs will now be of very real and personal consequence to the majority of citizens across the country.

Secondly, the media, responsible for the accurate documentation and report of factual information, was so bold as to prematurely speculate who may have been responsible for such acts, going so far as to name specific Islamic fundamentalist groups and leaders. One should be extremely cautious in making such assertions, as we have seen within the brief history of our nation just what happens when such unsubstantiated claims are made and entire peoples are discriminated against, even persecuted.

Expounding upon this very point, much of the latter 20th century transpired under the shadow of Communism, against which Americans were sworn and united, and legitimate threats and concerns were terribly exaggerated to achieve specific political and economic objectives. The transition into the 21st century, too, has not been without prejudice.

I encourage the departments of our national government, and citizens alike, to be deliberate and objective in their consideration of today?s events. Naturally, people will want some retribution, as the president himself swore to avenge such incorrigible actions, but that could lead down a terribly dangerous road and must be approached with the utmost sensitivity and discretion. The desire to determine responsibility is a natural one, however, it must not be exploited by a thirst for retribution or bloodlust. Continued and escalated violence will not solve the problems or resolve the issues, but only create new ones.

I hesitate to speculate as to the causes of such an attack until the perpetrators are identified, though we must certainly be aware and reflective of our national position in an increasingly global environment. We can only hope that such a tragedy will not propel the United States into an international conflict of such grand proportions. It would be so much easier to stop than it would to start.

Jared Toney is majoring in history.