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No cause justifies Sept. 11th page 2
The attacks may not defeat us, but they sure leave us with unresolved issues.

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RICHARD AMRHINE
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Date published: 10/7/2001

continued

What did you tell your young children? Like me, you probably told them that bad men did some terrible things, and it's very sad because a lot of mommies and daddies won't be coming home.

Then you reassured them that we are all safe and sound, knowing in the back of your mind that guarantees are no longer available.

Did yours ask you why God let this happen? Did they ask you that if God loves everyone, how could he love terrorists?

How can we expect them to grasp the concept of forgiveness when even the most compassionate of us want to see those responsible for this suffer great pain and die? It's not easy to explain, but we try.

Then we put our minds to all the other questions that are so incredibly difficult to answer: How much freedom are we willing to trade for a measure of security against terrorism?

Did our government let us down by allowing this to happen?

Isn't there something more we can do to help the victims' survivors besides donating money and praying for their well-being?

And if those issues we face at home aren't difficult enough, try putting some perspective on the reasoning behind the attacks.

If bin Laden and his boys are so smart that they could plan and execute this well-orchestrated attack, how could they ignore the obvious implications for not only their own cause, whatever it is, but for Islam, Muslims, and anyone who even looks Middle Eastern?

Virtually the entire world is united against bin Laden, his terrorist network and those who harbor them. Even those who survive are destined to be isolated in their own cavernous insane asylum.

Why would they choose to bring a shroud of prejudice down on all people of Middle Eastern heritage around the world?

This time, we're not about to round up decent Americans because of what they look like and put them into camps. On the contrary, we will punish severely those who act out their prejudice with violence against innocent people.

But I hesitate to believe even the most enlightened individuals who might say, for example, they'd feel comfortable flying on an airplane with a fellow passenger who appears to be Middle Eastern. The poor fellow would probably be tackled the moment he gets up to go to the bathroom.

We've plastered the pictures
of the terrorists across the top of the front page of the newspaper. This is designed to help jog someone's memory of an encounter with one of them that could, in turn, help investigators. But it tells the rest of us only that people who look like these guys hijack airliners and kill innocent people.

The lack of ready answers to these questions will prove an ongoing source of frustration as generations of Americans seek some sort of closure. But we will learn to live with what has happened because we must.

In the meantime, as the dust continues to settle and the tears continue to flow, we are united in our patriotism. And we can feel assured that for bin Laden and his terrorists, sooner or later, there will be hell to pay.


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