Dear Family and Friends,
I signed up for HBO on Sunday so I could watch,
and tape, Band of Brothers, about soldiers in World War
II. Having seen first-hand the amputees returning from Europe,
Dad never watches war movies. I felt the need to see for myself
what had been billed as an accurate recreation of what they went
through, their sacrifices for us.
There were two episodes Sunday night, the second
titled Day of Days, about their first day in combat.
Today has been the "Day of Days" for our
whole nation, don't you think?
There are all sorts of opinions about how to
react. We should respect them all -- this is still America
(thank God). The terrorists only win if they can divide and
My opinion is that any nation that harbors
terrorists, whether or not the individuals are ultimately proved
to be responsible for today's terrible events and whether or
not that nation actively supports those terrorists or simply
turns a blind eye to them, any such nation is our enemy and
should be treated as such. I hate war and killing, but
unfortunately sometimes the only way to stop war and killing is
to respond in kind or to surrender to evil. Innocent lives may
be lost, but innocent lives are being lost. And no nation, let
alone a great power, has ever stood for long without defending
itself and even, in desperate times, making an example of its
mortal enemies. In the end, more lives will be saved. And our
country is worth saving for its principles as well as its lives
In need of spiritual support, I went to Church
this morning; and we prayed for the victims as well as for the
judgment of our leaders. As you probably know, I had a great
deal of trouble with the process and outcome and legitimacy of
the last presidential election; but in this crisis, we should
recognize and support Mr. Bush as the one and only Commander in
Chief. There will be more than enough opportunity for politics
and other issues, including important Constitutional issues, at
a later date. As long as we remain united during these trying
times, the terrorists will not win.
Dad and I debated whether this was the worst day
in U.S. history or whether it was Pearl Harbor. More lives were
undoubtedly lost today, in the first attack on the mainland I
believe [since the War of 1812?]; but in '42, our Pacific
defenses were decimated, leaving our entire West Coast
undefended to further attacks. In the end, neither day was any
Here's to better days ahead. If the terrorists
thought that they would scare us into some sort of "submission", then they miscalculated. I'm sad, and I'm
angry. But the last thing in the world I am today is scared.
You can tell a lot about someone by the kinds of
friends they have (like Great Britain, whose P.M. voiced support
for us today) and by the kind of enemies you have. If the people
who dislike us so bitterly are the type who stage such horrible,
unprovoked attacks on innocent men, women, and children -- instead of lodging any complaints they may have by peaceful
means, like Martin Luther King or Gandhi -- then I'm glad
I'm not one of my enemies. I'm proud to be an American.
So much from me. It's easy to be so hard when
you're beyond draft age (although we have the means to punish
our enemies [to a certain extent] without putting troops on the
ground). But like it or not, history will judge us by what we do
or don't do. I just hope it's in keeping with our principles
(which don't include racism), and sends a loud and clear
message that this sort of thing is not going to be tolerated
(even though there will always be terrorism).
I just hope it wasn't a home-grown group (I
remember thinking at first that the OK City bombing was the work
of foreign terrorists). What would that mean? And what would we
As we say in Church, "peace to you".