Thank you for staff writer Michael Quintanilla's "Of Tears, Tourists and a Return to Ground Zero" (Feb. 24) on visiting ground zero. I, too, was in New York recently and saw the almost carnival-like atmosphere around the site. It was disturbing.
However, someone who wasn't there on Sept. 11 cannot possibly understand the depth of Quintanilla's feelings. Those of us who saw the terrorist attacks unfolding on television were removed from the events in a way those who were there can never be.
In this sense, Quintanilla in his grief is also a victim of terrorism. He has a right to be angry at cavalier attitudes of the general public.
Let me tell you what else I saw in New York. One morning, Fifth Avenue was closed for three blocks around St. Patrick's Cathedral while a funeral service was held for a police officer killed on Sept. 11. She left behind a husband and a 2-year-old daughter. The street was filled with hundreds of off-duty police officers standing together to honor one of their own. Perhaps I came across as cavalier as I took photos of these officers, but their devotion touched me deeply and it was a sight I will never forget.
I found Michael Quintanilla's article very powerful. I have appreciated all the Sept. 11 stories; please continue to find them and print them. Reading each person's account of coping with the aftermath of that day gives me courage to face my own feelings of grief.
Tribute to Father Strikes
a Resonant Chord
Staff writer Mary McNamara's ode to her father ("An Ordinary Man, an Extraordinary Dad and Friend," Feb. 26) had a universal pathos that struck a resonant chord.
My father died Jan. 7, and his funeral was pithy and attended by a scant score of family and friends. The personal and professional achievements that accrued over a lifetime were given a short litany but the elan vital that was at the core of his being was rarely noticed, much less acknowledged, by the outside world.
Each person in the world has a contribution that is unique and irreplaceable, and the story makes that point well. Thank you for expressing in stentorian tones that which is usually whispered in sub rosa conversations.
Mary McNamara's obituary of her father as a prototype of Everyman of worth, no matter if he is not in the news, is an extraordinary gift to everyone whose Everyman father abideth with us forever, no matter the dearth of headlines.
JOHN CARL BROGDON
Doesn't Ring True
I read staff writer Christine Frey's "For Real Singles, Chastity Is Hardly the Tough Part" (March 4) and have to concur with her about the reasons for not engaging in sex.
However, I have a problem with sexologist Howard Ruppel's assertion that the longer a person goes without, the less likely he is to want it. Let him go without for the 4,700-odd days that I have and see if he still feels that way.
I'm a 35-year-old male, not quite Josh Hartnett, but I'm told I'm good-looking.
I too have been abstaining from sex. I'm not religious, I'm not worried about sexually transmitted diseases and I have no moral sexual blockade.
Quite simply, I haven't met a person in a long time who interests me. This theory that a man or woman will bust if they don't get some regularly is pretty funny. It's nice to know somebody out there besides me is still based in reality.
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