sWell (shakewell) wrote,

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the price of freedom [letter to the editor]

scenes from a special effects sequence in the newest
action film. carefully orchestrated plans of attack
straight from a tom clancy novel. but, today, i can't
walk out of the theater and think, "thank god, it's
only fiction." i can't put down the book and tell
myself, "it can't happen here. that will never happen
to me."

terrorism n : the systematic use of violence as a means to
intimidate or coerce societies or governments

i will not be intimidated. i refuse to live my life in
fear. and i think that america must do the same. the
initial reaction will be to panic - but that is the
wrong thing to do. panic and fear are signs that these
terrorists have won. but they will not beat me. and
they will not defeat this great country.

already, people are working together to overcome this
tragedy. there is a three hour wait to donate blood in
nearly every major city. teams of doctors, nurses and
emergency workers are traveling east to offer their
services in the rescue efforts. displaced travelers
are carpooling to their destinations. people are
opening up their homes to those travelers who cannot
afford or find accommodations.

although a nation of diversity, we are unified by a
spirit of caring and kindness. and in this same
manner, it's time the world united and made a
deliberate effort to eradicate these kinds of evils
from our society. the civilized people and countries
the world over must agree, regardless of their
political or religious beliefs, that this kind of
unwarranted violence against civilians will not be
tolerated and will not be taken lightly.

this is an act of war. and many people wish to see the
use of deadly force immediately. but this is also an
injustice against humanity. and as such a crime, it
must be fully investigated without prejudice, bias or
undue haste. justice can only be achieved when all of
the individuals behind this act are proven guilty
beyond a shadow of a doubt - par for the course in the
american judiciary. to point fingers, jump to
conclusions or begin exercising america's military
superiority now would be grave and costly mistakes.

did our government fail the american people yesterday?
did the ffa? not really. was there more they could
have done? of course. but it's a waste of time to say
"i told you so." what's important now, is to learn
from the mistakes previously made and to make changes
for our safety and security in the future. before now,
security checks at airports were annoying hassles, but
when flights resume, surely every passenger in the
air, and the individuals on the ground as well, will
be profoundly thankful.

what's worrisome, are thoughts of tomorrow, next
month, next year. it's a large and busy world. i don't
think these attacks can ever be forgotten, but will
their severity be dulled over time? surely other
events will take their place in headlines and at the
dinner table, but will the lessons learned from them
disappear as well? even today, while a sense of
camaraderie can be felt at blood donation centers
across the nation, those feelings twist into price
gouging and fist fights at the gas pumps. is it so
easy to forget yesterday's events? what bigger
reminder do people need that life is short and that a
little love can go a long way?

in any case, acts of terrorism occur everday and
america, as the last great super-power, will always be
a target and may always be vulnerable to them. but its
citizens cannot let the fear of those attacks
interfere with their lives. just as people do not let
the probability of a car accident keep them from
driving to work everyday. there are many terrible
things to be feared everyday, and if americans lived
in a strict, police-type state, they might indeed be
safer from guns, knives, murderers and hijackers. but
those risks and these events are the price they pay
for freedom. the questions that arise now are, how
much freedom is too much? and how much are americans
really willing to give up and/or put up with to ensure
their safety?
Tags: letter to the editor, nine eleven

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