To the editor:
A terrible tragedy has occurred within the borders of the United States of America. An almost unbelievable horror that we are forced to believe and to deal with. Something that none of us could ever have imagined. The World Trade Center, an icon of world trade, prosperity, and capitalism, and the Pentagon, the headquarters for the United States' armed forces, the protectors of our country from foreign invasion, were turned into rubble right before our eyes.
The Congress of the United States, while the people of the United States have their guard down and are afraid, are passing bills to curtail individual freedom under the Terrorism Act of 2001. Surveillance of an individual's private messages will be allowed without a warrant or a court order, and many Americans say this is necessary to insure safety.
The terrorists have already won because Americans are demanding revenge and retaliation, not justice and restitution. We are ready to murder individuals in the Middle East without regard or thought about the innocent people that will be hurt or the balance of power that might be upset and the unintended consequences that could lead to even more war and terrorism.
We pray that what happens in the next few weeks will not activate more evil and assault on personal freedom or innocent victims, but that intelligence and patience will win out.MARY NALL
Marble Hill, Mo.
We must earn right to liberty
To the editor:
I am a former resident of Scott City, Mo., who joined the Marine Corps after high school graduation. After eight years of honorable service, I accepted a job here in New York City. Fortunately for me, I wasn't in NYC on Tuesday morning.
Hearing on the radio or even seeing on television doesn't come close to describing the impact this act of violence has caused. I traveled across the George Washington Bridge from my home in New Jersey on Sunday and went right into the heart of "ground zero."
Literally thousands of police officers litter the street miles from where the attack took place. People are suspect of any and all things going on around them. As I was sitting in my car at a stoplight, an ambulance approached a building where police officers had taped off a scene. Many of the already scared pedestrians were frozen at the street corners wondering what was happening now.
When my son must ride around seeing fully armed U.S. forces on the street, one must wonder what separates us from the other war stricken countries of the world.
Today, I realized somehow we have failed and terrorism has won. After seeing the devastation and the reactive procedures put in place, it is a rather easy conclusion to draw. We are being suspiciously eyed, our property and autos are being searched before being allowed to cross bridges and enter public parks, but most of all, we all feel vulnerable and afraid to resume our daily lives. Don't misunderstand me, I realize these measures are necessary for the protection of our country, but at this very moment, I honestly don't know which is more tragic -- the realization that each of our lives have changed forever or the death and destruction that has rained upon us.
We grow up in this country under the premise that each of us is entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Today, I began to realize that this may no longer be an entitlement; it may just be in fact something we must earn once again.
Fair Lawn, N.J.