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We Continue to Mourn; We Go On With Our Lives

September 11, 2002

So much has been written and spoken about "closure" as this first anniversary of 9/11 is upon us. Unfathomable closure occurred a year ago when doors were slammed shut on thousands of lives not yet fully lived, and illusions about national safety crashed along with the planes that were turned into weapons of mass destruction.

We do not need closure. We need opening, so light can come through as we transform images of death into memorials to those who once were living. We need opening of minds and hearts so that peace can begin with individual action, vigilance and the kind of compassion that grows into a massive force for good. We need the light of courage--the kind of courage that can allow us to face the dangers inherent in the world and make intelligent decisions about ways to make the world better through the people we nurture, the work we do, the money we donate, a well-researched vote at our polling places or activism on a larger scale. We will continue to grapple with our reactions to Sept. 11. Let there be light.

Lynne Goldklang

Los Angeles

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Rather than any kind of a monument at the World Trade Center site, I would suggest re-erecting the twin towers. Any monument admits defeat by the terrorists, while replacing the towers would be to thumb our noses at them: "You may attack us, but we will survive and rise again." Also, I can't think of a better tribute to those who lost their lives in the disaster than to replace the towers. We can't replace the victims but we can replace the towers.

Bernard Shanks

Santa Monica

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Am I the only one who is sick of hearing about how the brave and stalwart citizens of New York rose to the horrible challenges of 9/11 with such historic, and apparently unprecedented, courage and stamina? The events of 9/11 were a terrible tragedy. We get it. But so were the bombing in Oklahoma City, the earthquakes in San Francisco and Los Angeles, the destruction of the Pentagon, the floods of the Midwest and many other national tragedies, yet I did not hear the people of those cities proclaiming themselves somehow separate and unequaled in their bravery, courage and determination. They just got on with their lives.

Not so New Yorkers. They are a breed apart, more intrepid and noble than other Americans, supremely conditioned by lousy weather, abrasive waiters and stinking subways to stand up to the challenges of life. Perhaps if the media were not so entrenched in New York, the barrage of self-praise would end.

Matt Donlevy

Encino

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In the last year, we have rallied together as a nation, come to see New Yorkers as we never thought they could be, recognized the heroics of many, raised billions for the surviving families and cleared the site of the towers.

We forced the Taliban out of power in Afghanistan, captured and killed many of Al Qaeda, questioned the role of the Saudis as our friends, detained and held Muslims for questioning, passed severe laws that encroach on our rights of privacy, improved airline security (questionable), spent billions on homeland security and consolidated and improved intelligence operations.

We have exposed accounting, investment and corporate fraud. However, we failed to pass prescription drug, Medicare, health-care coverage and Social Security legislation. We have watched housing prices increase as investments and savings decline, seen the price of gas rise again, failed to pass meaningful energy conservation legislation and continued to use almost everything in excess.

What is inconceivable to me is that as citizens we have done little to reduce our dependence on oil on our own. We seem to think that the government is going to do it for us. Now that we may be on the verge of opening another front, in addition to our war on terrorism, we may begin to stand up and participate in being responsible for our future.

Alan Putter

Ventura

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Today is my 95th birthday. I didn't request any special "firecrackers" to celebrate my 94th. I suffered throughout the day along with the rest of the nation.

Now I must share Sept. 11 with so many others. But I do have seniority, having lived with the true Sept. 11 for most of the last century. I had it first.

Fred R. Hofeld

Los Angeles

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