We Gather Together
"Let our pursuit of happiness serve as a daily victory against the dark deprivation the terrorists wish upon us." CATHERINE VAN ARNAM Melrose, Mass.
Nancy Gibbs eloquently addressed the thoughts and feelings that many of us share this holiday season--sadness, confusion and fear balanced with a sense of unity, compassion and hope [THANKSGIVING, Nov. 19]. Her insights and gift of expression have been invaluable, and I've especially appreciated them in TIME's coverage of recent events. LINDA HUDSON Indianapolis, Ind.
Family, friends, health and country--these are the typical answers to the question, What are you thankful for? However, in light of Sept. 11, the answers that used to roll off our tongues are guaranteed to receive a second thought. We are involved in a war against terrorism. Families and friends have become closer, accepting their differences and reconciling their disagreements. Neighborhoods, towns and cities have bonded together as we become one nation. Many people have renewed their faith and have different priorities. The American people are reaching out to others. We may pause, because things have changed, but Americans realize that we are more thankful for family, friends, health and our country than ever before. JESSICA PRESCOTT-LUNT, AGE 16 Fayetteville, N.C.
It is ironic that after converting the Europeans--and most of the rest of the world, for that matter--to the U.S. lifestyle of focusing on consumerism, Americans are now taking time out to smell the roses. WILLIAM BEDFORD Toronto
When I saw Nancy Gibbs' name on the cover, I knew I was in for an emotional roller coaster. I was prepared to smile, cry and even laugh a little--and how incredibly therapeutic it was. Nancy, your articles are so touching and poignant, with an uplifting tone of optimism, pride and resolve. After I finished reading, I walked outside, stood at attention and stared at the American flag proudly waving in front of my house. I felt as if I were the luckiest man on earth, because I live in the greatest country in the world. DANIEL DELELLIS Clearwater, Fla.
Thank goodness for the Colorado pastor who said he is troubled by the song so often sung today, God Bless America. He believes we should say, "God bless America as well as the other nations." Do we truly think God should bless only us? How arrogant! I wish we would all fly flags showing arms linked around the world. God would approve of that without any doubt. ROBERTA POWELL Worthington, Ohio
--Our food-and-flag cover illustration was well received by many of you who were aching for a holiday break. "After plane crashes, war and anthrax, I was thankful to see TIME's pumpkin pie," sighed a grateful Iowan. A New Yorker wrote, "Like many other citizens, I am flying the colors, and I love the idea of putting the American flag in my Thanksgiving pumpkin pie." And a reader from Maryland offered "applause for the flag in the pie. It's a reminder of the best time of year, when people open their hearts. Despite the war, the holidays will go on. Let the festivities begin!"