Person of the Year
"Not only do the men and women who serve in all branches of the military deserve our respect and support, their survival demands it." JAMES M. WHITE Tucson, Ariz.
TIME's choice for Person Of The Year [Dec. 29--Jan. 5] was like a holiday present from you to those of us who have loved ones guarding freedom around the world. My son is serving in Afghanistan, and along with many other soldiers, he spent Christmas away from home for the first time. Thank you for a brilliant choice! CONSTANCE STEWART Holliston, Mass.
The American soldier was an appropriate selection, yet there was no mention of the coalition soldiers from other nations whose lives have been sacrificed in Iraq. I do not want to sound churlish, but without the help of the armed forces from numerous other countries, the task of overthrowing Saddam Hussein would have been considerably tougher. BYRON NICHOLLS Scunthorpe, England
Whether the war is right or wrong, those in the armed forces are risking their lives, not only for the countries where they serve but also to defend all of us at home. TIME's report was the best description I have read anywhere of what our feelings should be in response to the sacrifices of those in the services. SUSAN LUITJENS Columbus, Ga.
Bravo for honoring the heroes of the year! There may be differing opinions about whether the troops should be where they are, but there is no disputing that they deserve the utmost respect and admiration for being willing to serve and protect us. We must not only be grateful but also let the people in the services know how appreciative we are. Thanks for doing your part. VICTORIA S. HUTCHINSON Lynchburg, Ohio
Anywhere you go outside the U.S., the American soldier is seen as the embodiment of a power-hungry regime intent on world domination. TIME's selection reflects America's desire to feel that its bloody and violent occupation of Iraq is somehow doing good. STEVE NEUMANN London
Whether or not one agrees with what George W. Bush has done, it is beyond belief that TIME did not select him as Person of the Year. He was clearly the dominant influence on world events during 2003. Our fighting men and women deserve a tremendous amount of respect and admiration, but who made the decision to deploy them? MARK NEWTON Scottsdale, Ariz.
The Year in Pictures
Among "The Best Photos Of The Year"--most of which depicted war, disaster and death--was the hospital photo of Ali Ismail, the little boy who lost both arms in the destruction of his home near Baghdad [Dec. 22]. But you also included a small picture showing him as he is now. It was very moving and gave me so much hope. TIME can be very proud to have played a role in helping generate the donations that led to restoring Ali's health and providing him with rehabilitation and an education. His improved condition and his prospects for a dignified future will be forever linked to Yuri Kozyrev's poignant photo taken just after Ali had been so cruelly wounded. ODE LAFORGE Fontenilles, France