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There is, of course, a need to strike back at those who did these terrible things, but history tells us that as long as there are homeless and disenfranchised people and the world's resources are hogged by the powerful few, there will be angry and desperate men who feel they have nothing to lose. Bush's nutty plans for a missile-defense system should be scrapped immediately and the billions saved diverted to reducing the root causes of such violent and despicable acts. GARY MOLLER Wellington, New Zealand
Americans Come Together
For the first time in my life, I have seen America unite. Since that fateful Tuesday morning, very little attention has been paid to the usual differences between us. We can honor the thousands who have died by maintaining this unity. Let's remember these days the next time we start to fight with one another. If we are able to dismiss our prejudices in the wake of shock and horror, can't we also do so in times of peace? LOU LAMARCA Cleveland, Ohio
As a Muslim, an American and a citizen of the world, I am deeply repelled and saddened by these barbarous attacks, which hurt all people who value human life, regardless of their background or beliefs. I am also outraged anyone could claim that such cold-blooded and cowardly acts were religious in purpose; they are certainly not sanctioned by Islam. When I drove home from Washington and saw firsthand the devastation at the Pentagon, I could not help crying and wondering what the world was coming to. ATHAR A. PIRZADA Springfield, Va.
As our leaders watched workers dig out from the rubble the remains of thousands of Americans, did it occur to them to distance the U.S. from the affairs of the Middle East and the Persian Gulf region? And frankly, a little humility wouldn't hurt us at this hour. Perhaps we should spend a moment in this frenzy of revenge asking ourselves what we have done to contribute to this tragedy. And then stop doing it. MARGIE PHELPS Topeka, Kans.
On Sept. 11, my generation, the MTV generation, lost its innocence. For the first time, we felt scared, confused and helpless; we cried as we have never cried before. The nature of our college class schedules allowed us to watch the TV coverage, and the image of the jetliners hitting the World Trade Center will be forever inscribed on our minds. This generation has got its wake-up call. We will never be the same again. ABHILASH REDDY West Lafayette, Ind.
Last night, I was watching continuing coverage of this horrible tragedy and came upon an ecumenical service of song and prayer. I am not a believer in organized religion. Still, something about the sight of priest and rabbi, monk and imam, started me thinking. It would be a triumph if a new unity came out of this act of hatred. It's already occurring politically: witness the current bipartisanship in Washington. I wonder whether the many arbitrary distinctions between people could be forgotten once and for all. If we could emphasize the links among us instead of the divisions, then I believe we will have foiled the terrorists. JENNIFER FRANK Morristown, N.J.