One of the avowed objectives of the criminals who planned and carried out the assaults on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11 is to break up the United States into a collection of little states, or possibly groups of them, and then deal with each one individually. This kind of thinking shows just how ill-prepared the terrorists really are. They have no idea what they're dealing with.
In 1768, eight years before the American Revolution officially began, one John Dickinson told us :
"Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all!
By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall!"
We've been taking Dickinson's words to heart—and living by them—ever since. Minutes after the hijackers flew into the World Trade Center towers Sept. 11, firefighters and police officers across the country climbed into their trucks, their private cars—any vehicle they could find—and however they could get here, they got here. They didn't stop to think about being from New Jersey or Iowa or California. All that mattered was that fellow Americans needed their help. Ironworkers and carpenters, members of all the construction trades from all over the country, came to Ground Zero. "We put up this building," they said, "Let us try to save lives by helping to take it down." Across the country people lined up by the thousands to give blood. Relief funds are swelling by millions of dollars. Schoolchildren are collecting nickels and dimes and billionaires are writing out checks in seven figures.
This isn't anything unusual. Faced with natural disasters, like the Northridge earthquake in California a few years ago, New Yorkers sent millions of dollars and thousands of hours of effort in aid. Whenever any part of the country bleeds, the rest of us rush in like white corpuscles to a wound. Nor does our altruism stop at our borders. As soon as they know about any kind of disaster, be it natural or man-made, Americans hasten to help, at home and around the world. Even as we fight back against the terrorists, we are airlifting hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of food and medical supplies to the poor and struggling people of Afghanistan. We have no quarrel with the Afghan people or with the religion of Islam that they follow. It is only the terrorists we are after.
Offering aid to each other and the rest of the world has been going on for as long as this country has been in existence. It's a long-standing tradition that happens because we regard ourselves as all part of one big family. Some of us have a hard time getting along when we're inside the house, but when we walk down the street, we're together. Whoever takes on any one of us takes on us all.
Go On Green
There is a very important election on tap for tomorrow—the runoff to decide whether Mark Green or Fernando Ferrer becomes the Democratic candidate for mayor.
The winner will become a strong favorite to win the Nov. 6 election and become the next mayor of New York City for the next four years.
With our nation now at war and tight security a major concern, our city is at a point where crucial decisions must be made on rebuilding the devastation wrought by the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center. There’s no margin for error in selecting the city’s chief executive during this extremely sensitive period.
Clearly, Mark Green is an unmistakably better choice than Fernando Ferrer to guide us through this dangerous period.
During the past two weeks, as the two candidates closed out their campaign, Green has shown himself a mature and sensitive leader while Ferrer has demonstrated himself to be a provincial, business-as-usual politician burdened with the baggage of too many deals made to try to win the election.
Blasting Ferrer’s suggestion to decentralize the city’s financial district under the rebuilding plan by locating some of the facilities in the Bronx, Green noted that editorials in two major newspapers rightly condemned Ferrer "for not understanding how markets work."
In the face of continuing questioning about how he will repay the Rev. Al Sharpton for the black leader’s campaign support, Ferrer stated there would not have to be any payback at all, a statement that no one could take at face value.
Generally, Green has shown much greater maturity than Ferrer on the issues that go to the heart of what the next mayor will have to deal with. Also, Green will be dealing from a far greater independent position on the serious issues facing us.
The Gazette feels strongly that a vote for Green will be a vote in the interest of Queens residents as well as for the city as a whole.