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Unhappy Survivors of Sept. 11 Victims

January 21, 2002

Re "Sept. 11 Fund's Fine Print Angers Many Relatives," Jan. 17:

Although everyone in America is sorry for their loss, the families of the victims who died on 9/11 need to quit being so materialistic in regard to how much money they should receive. No amount of cash will bring back their relatives or alleviate their pain--and to put any price tag on those lives lost is a futile and distorted way of dealing with grief.

The families of those who died equally horrible deaths--in Vietnam, Pearl Harbor or Oklahoma City, to name a few--did not receive millions of dollars, and I think it is a very bad precedent when our society says that you can only handle the death of a loved one by becoming a millionaire.

Sage Vanden Heuvel



Regarding your article on people litigating over unfair compensation for losses on 9/11: Suppose that terrorists manage to detonate a nuclear bomb or release a deadly biological agent in a major U.S. city that kills, say, 500,000 people. Will we then be treated to the spectacle of 500,000 families suing whatever entity has the deepest pockets to obtain their "just compensation"?

The fact that all this 9/11-related legal activity is going on now is proof positive that we are not in a state of war, as has been claimed. During a real war (think 1941) no one would be complaining publicly about "not getting theirs." Thank heaven that things are not at that point yet and that personal injury lawyers are busy as usual.

Jeff Klein


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