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Remember Sept. 11 With Purpose and Respect

September 10, 2002

As an incoming freshman at UC Irvine this fall, I am shocked and appalled at the attitudes my fellow Southern Californian teens displayed in "Teens Ready to Move On" (Sept. 8). Comments such as being tired of not being able to watch the news without being confronted with terrorism, war or grief shed telling light as to why the U.S. is so hated by foreign powers. Teens of today--indeed, Americans today--need to wake up and realize that terrorism, war and grief are everyday experiences for most of the world.

We should be tired of war; we should be fed up with terrorism. However, as teenagers, we should also choose a more active approach to ridding the world of these horrors than simply switching off the television. If 9/11 had a purpose, it should be to jolt us to awareness. Allowing this one-year anniversary to pass in the self-centeredness that consumed Americans before 9/11 would be an even greater tragedy than the destruction of New York's twin towers.

Melissa Sue Quinn

Anaheim

*

Thank you for Richard Rodriguez's "The Day Before" (Opinion, Sept. 8). Rodriguez's prose is poetry--a calm, soothing voice helping to quiet the cacophony of a tumultuous world. He is a man whose heart is as gentle as his voice.

Mayer Gerson

Northridge

*

The events of 9/11 taught me a lot. I learned that we Americans are a proud, resilient and compassionate people. Unfortunately, I also learned that we seem to have an endless capacity for exploiting tragedy. The unblushing greed and shameless opportunism that have arisen from that tragedy are staggering. There will be those who will try to make economic or political hay on what should be a day of quiet, thoughtful remembrance. I trust others will join me in saying, to all who do so: "Shame on you."

Susan North

Los Angeles

*

I believe that we should change the date on which Memorial Day is celebrated to Sept. 11. Memorial Day is a time to remember and honor those who have died in conflicts and wars. The original date of Memorial Day (or "Decoration Day," as it was originally called), May 30, was arbitrary. The date was not chosen to commemorate any specific event, and, in fact, Congress voted about 30 years ago to change its celebration to the last Monday in May, to give us another three-day holiday weekend. Too often the meaning of Memorial Day is lost. Let's give back the meaning to Memorial Day as a time of remembrance to our fallen: the victims of 9/11 as well as all those who have died for our country and for freedom. Let us never forget.

Jane Stillwell

Dana Point

*

Do you want to do something to commemorate 9/11? My suggestion is to replace those weather-beaten and improperly displayed U.S. flags that have hung night and day since Sept. 11. When you purchase your new flag, the package will most likely contain a pamphlet on the U.S. flag code. Please read and follow the instructions for proper display. Finally, dispose of the old flag with the respect and dignity it deserves. Our flag: Wave it proud, but wave it right.

Dick Schneider

Oak View

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