By Norbert & Estelle Chwat
We are the older generation.
When an enemy attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941 we were 17 years old. Sitting close to our radios that day we, the people of our country, knew we were at war. Together, we understood that our president had spoken and that our enemies must be destroyed. We resolutely went on a war footing, men enlisted in the Armed Services, men and women joined the Civil Defense. There were no arguments, no political agendas.
We had an enemy who had attacked us. We were a united front! Our country was attacked directly, our Navy destroyed! But the country, the Congress, the Administration presented a united front. Eventually, after many sacrifices we won the war against the Axis in 1945.
On September 11, 2001 the United States was again attacked on its soil. Three thousand innocent people died that day. Many were never found again, only pieces remained. The American people will never forget who did this to us!
Today, as we write this, we are appalled and horrified at the intense battles that are raging in our Congress, in our media, between political parties. We hear of frightening evidence that our intelligence agencies have failed us. And all this even though our enemy has weapons of mass destruction.
It is so visible to our enemies how open our society is. How divisive our society is. We speak openly and freely, using those freedoms that we have fought for.
Perhaps, just perhaps, in this horrific time in our country’s life we are abusing this "right" and jeopardizing our future. Has "politics" and not "survival" become the issue?
Many in Congress seem totally absorbed in the General Election in November. As we read and listen to the media coverage our two political parties are only concerned with winning their seats. Is all this at the expense of our security?
Politicians and "talking heads" in the media are playing with our future! Maybe "he" does not have weapons of mass destruction, or "he" may not have them in, say, seven or eight months, so we have all the time in the world No! We do not have all the time in the world!
Three thousand human beings died on September 11. Thousands were injured never to be the same again.
We dare not play politics with their sacrifice. There is no memorial big enough! Our oceans do not protect us anymore.
The personal politics of self-serving people must be cast aside. They are out of step with the reality of what is happening.
Together we must speak in one voice as Americans have done in times of crisis. A united front has saved us in the past.
Who works with terrorists, who harbors them, who finances them, who supports them in the UN, who supplies them with weapons of all kinds, are terrorists themselves.
The fighting among ourselves in full view of the media and the world must stop immediately. This can only help our enemies at home and abroad.
Our future is at stake.
Norbert and Estelle Chwat are co-presidents of the Forest Hills Action League.