A copy of the following letter to President George W. Bush was received by the Gazette. The author is the granddaughter of an Astoria resident.
Dear Mr. President,
I have watched the news; I have seen your speeches and read the newspaper. All of these things have given me a better knowledge of the people of Afghanistan and the terrorists who live there.
On October 11, 2001, you gave a speech. You said every American child should try to give one dollar to the Afghan children.
"Why?," I asked myself. Why give them money when all their people gave us was fear and destruction. Watching the news on terrorist camps showed me that most of the children are raised from a young age to hate the United States of America. So why give them money? This action is just building up the enemy not destroying it!
Of course I have never been a day without a meal, but why give money for food to the children who are portrayed on television stomping on a burning American flag? This equation does not measure up.
What about our children? Our children are the ones who need help. Think of all those who went to bed September 11 without being able to kiss a parent goodnight ever again. Therefore, I do not think this one dollar donation is the right thing to do in times of war.
Attacks Affect All
To The Editor:
In response to President George W. Bush’s remarks to the United Nations General Assembly, I applaud him for his thoughts, he hit it right on the money.
We must enlist the help of many nations, our mission is their mission as well. We must not allow this evil to remain unchecked in other nations, in hoping that it will not affect them and it will go away.
Our president has said and I quote, "We learned in the Second World War that there is no isolation from evil. We affirmed that some crimes are so terrible they offend humanity itself. And we resolved that the aggressions and ambitions of the wicked must be opposed early, decisively and collectively before they threaten us all."
Therefore I believe it is not only the United States that was attacked on September 11 by Osama bin Laden and his Al-Qaida network, but all of humanity, and civilization itself, that is being threatened. Let me point out that the Al-Qaida network has boasted that they have acquired chemical and biological and nuclear weapons, the tools to turn their hatred into a holocaust.
So I hope this world will listen, and remember this evil thrives when good men do nothing.
In closing as President George W. Bush said in another speech on our commitment to fight terrorists, "Our resolve is firm. We will not fault, we will not tire, we will not waiver, and we will not fail!"
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
An Encouraging Word
The following e-mail from a young ensign aboard the USS Winston Churchill to his parents was received by the Gazette. (The Churchill is an Arleigh Burke-class AEGIS guided-missile destroyer, commissioned March 10, 2001, and is the only active U.S. Navy warship named after a foreign national).
We are still at sea. The remainder of our port visits have all been cancelled. We have spent every day since the [September 11] attacks going back and forth within imaginary boxes drawn in the ocean, standing high-security watches, and trying to make the best of it. We have seen the articles and the photographs, and they are sickening. Being isolated, I don’t think we appreciate the full scope of what is happening back home, but we are definitely feeling the effects.
About two hours ago, we were hailed by a German Navy destroyer, Lutjens, requesting to pass close by our port side. Strange, since we’re in the middle of an empty ocean, but the captain acquiesced and we prepared to render them honors from our bridgewing. As they were making their approach, our conning officer used binoculars and announced that Lutjens was flying not the German, but the American flag. As she came alongside us, we saw the American flag flying half-mast and her entire crew topside standing at silent, rigid attention in their dress uniforms.
They had made a sign that was displayed on her side that read, "We Stand By You." There was not a dry eye on the bridge as they stayed alongside us for a few minutes and saluted. It was the most powerful thing I have seen in my life. The German Navy did an incredible thing for this crew, and it has truly been the highest point in the days since the attacks. It’s amazing to think that only a half-century ago things were quite different.
After Lutjens pulled away, the Officer of the Deck, who had been planning to get out later this year, turned to me and said, "I’m staying in the Navy."
I’ll write you when I know more about when I’ll be home, but this is it for now.
"Love you guys."
Brother Was Vet
To The Editor:
I would like to pay a tribute to a World War II veteran who succumbed on Independence Day, July 4, 2000.
He came from the epic era of heroes who saved the world by overcoming the attacks of the Nazis and the Japanese with courage and fortitude. They did what had to be done, namely defeat the enemy. Like many other individuals he enlisted and served in the Pacific for five years.
This gallant WWII veteran had a special place in my heart, for, you see, this GI was my hero and big brother, Edward Orlowski. My feelings are laden with sorrow but the pride I have for him still lingers in my thoughts.
God Bless You, my loving brother, and I will see you someday again.
Don’t Stint Vets
To The Editor:
It was with the deepest of interest that I read your well written editorial concerning our veterans.
Yes, indeed, we shall wholeheartedly honor our veterans and pay homage to all those brave men and women who gave of themselves, employing all of their efforts and their abilities so that our nation can cherish the fruits of liberty.
Although at the present time we are living in serious economically troubled times, where there is a downturn of our economy, we must not cut any of the Veterans Administration benefits, which include medication, hospitalization, health insurance, rehabilitation and residential care as well as education. We must pay back our caring citizens who served with glory and honor and respect them for their valiant efforts.
In addition, Veterans’ Day should not be one of mere sales, or a three-day weekend but one in which we pray for our departed veterans, memorializing them and doing our utmost to improve the quality of life for our living veterans by improving services for them.
Let us utilize the patriotic spirit that has been kindled as a result of the World Trade Center tragedy in honoring our veterans who have been links in preserving our valued chain of democracy and freedom, which we cherish so very much.
Long Island City