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  • More thoughts on the recent events

    Today as I was out for a walk in the Rocky Mountain foothills, trying to clear my mind, I looked east across the vast corn and wheat fields of eastern Colorado and felt like NYC was just below the horizon. It's amazing how tragedy has a way of bringing people together and bridging huge distances.

    Last night I was talking to my sister on the phone and she mentioned that she had a "poem" formulating in her head, but thought it would just sound silly or insignificant if she wrote it down. I encouraged her to write it anyway, and this is what she had to say. (Hardly "silly" if you ask me.)


    I Will Persevere

    I am overwhelmed by feelings of grief and loss. I grieve, not for the loss of loved ones, for I have truly been blessed to have my family safe and sound. But I grieve....

    for the loss of thousands of people,
    When I try to imagine how the mothers and fathers, the
    brothers and sisters, the daughters and sons, and the
    grandfathers and grandmothers that have lost the loved
    ones might feel, my eyes water up, my chest gets tight,
    and I have to stop. I cannot tolerate the pain.

    for the loss of a sense of safety,
    I will now always wonder what is going to happen when I
    or a loved one gets on a plane, instead of thinking of the
    adventure of the trip that is about to ensue. I will wonder
    what bad news is coming with the 7 am phone call
    instead of looking forward to talking to a loved one. I will
    wonder if my son will be safe when I drop him off at
    daycare or at school instead of wondering what he will
    learn that day.

    for the loss of humanity,
    These acts of terrorism are inhuman and they dig a hole
    into the heart of my country and into the hearts of people
    around the world.

    and for my son.
    I question why I brought someone into this world where
    such cruelty can occur. I love my son with all of my heart
    and I don't know how to protect him from the horror of
    this world.

    I am ANGRY at the people who think they have the right to kill tousands of innocent people. I am angry at the people who cheer and throw candy at the news of thousands of mothers and fathers, and daughters and sons being killed. They have no right to do that and yet they do. I am angry that I no longer feel safe in my country and that I have to raise my son in such an hostile world. I am angry that I feel confused in making sense of what happened and helpless as to how to help the world, my country, those who have been hurt, and those who have lost loved
    ones.

    But I will NOT give in to those feelings of confusion or helplessness. I will NOT let my anger turn into HATE.

    I WILL find way to honor those who have died...

    By using my anger to give me strength and courage to face the
    world and remind the world of good, of hope, of life, and of
    love.

    By not giving into fear and living in darkness.

    By embracing life and making the most out of every minute.

    By valuing my family and making time to enjoy them and show
    my love.

    By teaching my son that although there is both bad and good
    in the world, evil will not ultimately win when there is good.

    By treating every person I meet with respect.

    This will not be easy to accomplish. I am sure that I will frequently
    want to give in to fear and anger.

    But I will persevere because

    I am a woman,

    I am a mother,

    I am an American,

    and I am human.


    by Nancy KS Kurokawa, Ph.D.
    September 11, 2001 after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon

  • #2
    Jeanie,

    Tell your sis that's beautiful writing.

    Comment


    • #3
      Wow....Jeanie, I too thank you and your sister for sharing that beautiful poem with us. My sentiments exactly only beautifully put.
      DJ

      Comment


      • #4
        I wonder why it takes something of this magnitude to make us realize what we have as Americans and citizens of a free world. I'm sure her sentiments are exactly what is being felt all over our country, but few have a way of putting it into words. I think her effort was certainly worth putting in a place where others can see it. Thanks very much.

        Ed

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks for the sentiments everyone - I'll pass them on to my sister.

          Ed, I too wonder why it takes something of this magnitude for us to realize what we have here in this country. I can only hope that we can now remember for a long time coming without needing another event like this to jog our memories.

          Jeanie

          Comment


          • #6
            The poem was truly beautiful.I must admit that the reality of what happened on Tuesday has not hit me yet.I can't seem to believe it happened. We were scheduled to fly out of Miami on Tuesday for a trip to France .. We were staying at an airport hotel Tuesday night and they actually had military planes flying over Miami. Anyway, in the end we decided to cancel our plans due to many logistical problems.This is first time we have ever had to do this.

            Having had gone to school and worked in lower Manhattan I know the area well and can't comprehend the enormity of what happened. The World Trade Center complex was actually started in the late 60's and completed around'72. It's odd to actually remember the skyline when the twin towers were not there.The NY Telephone company and A T&T had buildings in the area which were torn down (among others)to make way for the new center. ..What I find so tragically heatbreaking is the number of emergency rescue squads who are missing in the carnage. .and all of those families of the missing. Living life in the present and recognizing how very fragile it is is something we all need to be aware of.

            I have one thing that is puzzling me.I've only been catching the tv coverage in bits and pieces and am wondering if anyone has seen Cheney on tv and what is he saying.

            Comment


            • #7
              I doubt much will be seen of or heard from the Vice-President. Most likely he is organizing the logistics of what will be, or is intended to be, a much broader response than sending a few cruise missles into a patch of desert. If/when the response begins, I hope folks who so bravely talk now are prepared to tough it out especially when it becomes apparent that in order to get rid of the Terrorist orginizations you have to kill the support groups as well...and that means, on occasion, communities of men, women, children, old folks etc.. As Gen. W.T.Sherman said ; " There are no innocents in war." I, for one, hope that this country has the fortitude to do what is necessary including the unplesant task of eliminating the support sector. One of my kids works in the Intelligence community on overseas assignment and the thing which worries me the most is the fickle attitude of certain segments of the population who, when confronted with the realities of War, begin sniveling about how wrong it is to hurt "innocent" by-standers, regardless of the fact that these same" by-standers" are the very ones providing support for and aide to, the terrorist groups. If America and the world want to be reasonably free from fear of terrorist attacks, there is a price in human life to pay and unless we are prepared to absorb casualties as well as inflict them on the entire populations of these "rogue" countries and orginizations,without handwringing and "humanitarian clap-trap" we better not do anything. I would hate to see American Service and Civilian personnel give up their lives for a nation and world that values the lives of terrorists and their supporters over freedom. Tom

              Comment


              • #8
                I agree fullyTom and I would also add to that by saying that in our fight for freedom against terrorism, remember that those Muslims who are our American brothers and sisters should not have to shoulder the blame of the radicals who did this. I would hate to think we learned nothing when we hunted down the Japanese Americans after Pearl Harbor. People are not guilty by association just as those who died in this tragedy were not guilty because of our American foriegn policy. We want the guilty to suffer not the innocent.
                DJ

                Comment


                • #9
                  Dj, True Islam is one of the most gentle and enlightened religions of this world. While Europeans were burning at the stake those who insisted that the Earth was not the center of the Universe with all else revolving around it, Islamic Scholars were plotting and calculating ,using advanced mathematics, the motions of celestial bodies as well as writing timless treasures of literature and poetry. Tolerance and hospitality is not only a hallmark of true Islam, it is a fundamental part of that belief system and to strike out against those who practice it, simply because those persons look, talk or act differently, makes those doing the striking simply put, Terrorists themselves-- who should expect to be treated as such. While there are those of Islamic faith in this country who do not have the best interests of America at heart, it is the job of Law Enforcement and the Intelligence network to ferret them out and deal with them. I might add there are just as many professing the Christian faith who also seek to damage this country as well--terrorism is a religion unto itsself regardless of what anyone may say--there is no higher power in it. Fanatics are all cut from the same cloth---Bigoted, ignorant and very, very dangerous. I just hope that This country will now allow the Law Enforcement and Intelligence communities to operate without having their hands tied--That doesnot mean unfettered license to trample fundamental freedom, but the ability to investigate, identify and if necessary eliminate those who practice the terrorist trade--be it foreign or domestic in nature. Tom
                  Last edited by thomasgeorge; 09-13-2001, 01:06 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Very well said Tom
                    DJ

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Amen, Tom. -Jeanie

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I just want to take a minute to tell all of you that I've been reading everything that you've written about the terrorist attacks. I want to thank everyone because I find all of your reactions, concerns and offers to help the victims very comforting.

                        I live and work in New Jersey, and I saw the attack on the World Trade Center in real life from my office. I've lost fellow-employees in the attacks on New York and Washington. My immediate supervisor's 25-year old son is missing in what was once the World Trade Center.

                        Here in the New York Metropolitan Area, we're so devastated that we tend to overlook the fact that all people throughout this entire country also have been terribly impacted by this horror.

                        My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I was very touched and moved by all the comments in the many posts concerning this tragedy. I still cannot comprehend the magnitude of it all. I live in Manhattan, and like Lorraine, I know many people who are impacted by all this. Unfortunately, I will learn about more people as time passes.

                          Life is about surviving, as trite as that might sound right now. Also, we should keep things in perspective at all times. How often do we get annoyed with someone, particularly loved ones, for very unimportant reasons? We should always enjoy what we have each and every day because we never know what tomorrow will bring.

                          My wife and son were often in the world trade center for business. It is a chilling thought.

                          I believe that the free world will react positively to this outrage. However, I am not sure that they will keep enough things in perspective.

                          I hope that I am not going to sound too political as I voice my opinion.

                          Too many countries of the world that condemn Israel and the United States, among others, are the same ones who harbor terrorists and exploit their own people. Israel, with all its faults, is targeting only those who are initiating the terror. Our government has announced that the terrorists will be targeted. Isn’t this the same?

                          My wife is the Executive Director the American branch of a Jerusalem based non-profit organization. They help all citizens of the city and she just received an email from a Palestinian woman that she has worked with. She very strongly condemned the attack and stated that most of the people that she knew felt the same. It is important to separate the governments and the terrorists from the average citizen in many of these countries. So many people are just trying to survive on a day-to-day basis and the politics of hate will not allow it.

                          Nothing can justify a tragedy of this magnitude, but hopefully the dynamics of world politics will see some positive change.

                          Alan

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Alan, How exactly do you seperate the "innocent" common man on the street from the terrorist who turns to them for support, and receives it, as regards food, security, clothing, in short logistical support and assistance? The same for Governments who give tacit support to the same? Why are these " average citizens" not supplying information on the plans and movements of individuals if they so abhore violence? Why do they dance in the street at news of a horrible act such as a suicide bombing etc.? Do the same folks who now Decry the terrorist violence directed against the US also decry the suicide bomber who kills Israeli children on a bus or in a cafe? As I said in a previous post, if this be a true war on terrorism, there are no innocent by-standers any where-- and this includes this country. In war you donot have "innocents" you have casualties, period,and if fine distinctions are to be drawn, let us not pursue any further action. Either these groups and the populations supporting them must be crushed or we had best drop the whole thing and give in to what these groups demand of us. Perhaps these "common" people are no more guilty of anything than were the citizens of Dresden, Tokyo, Berlin---but in war there is and can be no distinction. War is against people otherwise we would be able to just blow a big hole in an unpopulated area of some country and claim victory because our bomb made a bigger crater than theirs did. It would be wonderful if this could be resolved by apprehending those responsible with no further destruction and loss of life, but when you are dealing with those who donot value life, do not value human dignity and worship only a God they call revenge, there are no options. The State of Israel is correct in its attitude and response--in fact they show a remarkable ability to maintain their resolve and National unity in the face of such casualties as they daily sustain. I hope this country can do the same. War is not a sterile neat little thing--it means death, destruction, fear and every negative thing humanity can muster to parade before our senses, but unless we are prepared to abandon our freedom and way of life and allow ourselves to be dictated to by fanatics who choose to hide among women and children, then, again, "There are no innocents in war"--Gen. W.T. Sherman Tom
                            Last edited by thomasgeorge; 09-14-2001, 02:53 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I agree with your comments. War is hell and too many innocents always get hurt. Whatever we do as a response, we must not be deterred when the negatives occur.

                              All the Israeli’s that my wife and I know have the attitude that “life must go on”. Until recently, they were willing to make some sacrifices for peace, but the mood has shifted considerably to the right, even among many liberals.

                              They feel that there is no longer a partner in the peace process and that until the hate that is being taught in the Palestinian schools is stopped; things will continue to get worse. It is unfortunate that the ratio of moderates is rapidly decreasing.

                              The average Palestinian cannot earn a living under the present conditions and this helps fuel the conflict. Even though many of them blame the PA, it is at Israel that they vent their frustrations.

                              This is a very brief and over simplified response. My wife has been privy to much information that you never see in the papers. It is amazing how much Israel has offered and tried to do that was rejected at the last minute.

                              One can only hope that a “hopeless” situation can change. Sometimes things get so bad that they can only get better.

                              Alan

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