From our readers: an outpouring of support for Jill Carroll and her family

A sampling from the hundreds of letters received by the Monitor.

A flood of prayers

Please convey to Jill Carroll's parents and sister that many, many people are fervently praying for Jill's safe release. I am the mom of a Fulbright student who lived for a year in Cairo last year. He met Jill when she spent time in Cairo; she played ultimate frisbee with him. Jill's courage and sense of purpose are phenomenal, and I imagine those traits run in the family. I hope her mom, dad, and sister can draw on that common bond in this interim period. Thanks to the Monitor for doing everything you can to help.
Leslie Nissen
Savannah, Ga.

Petition to a loving God

Words simply fail at this time. May the God of Abraham be with Jill and her family and friends. I am praying for her safe return and for comfort for those who have had the honor of knowing her.

A sparrow does not fall from its nest without the knowledge of God. You, Jill, are of more worth than many sparrows.
William Ogg
Houston

An appeal to fellow Muslims

To the brothers of Islam: Nothing is gained by allowing this young lady to die. Everything must be done to save life and create goodwill toward one another. Jill Carroll is every man's sister and has been working as an independent journalist - telling the truth.

She is honest and concerned about all people. Reward this woman with thanks and encourage good journalism to be what we all read. God is great, and Muhammad is His prophet!
Samir Al Toomi, M.D.
Cairo

A family who knows what it's like

I am praying for the safe release of Jill Carroll in Iraq. She was there to help the people of Iraq. She is a good, kind, giving person who put herself there to give to and to teach Iraqis. My family suffered for 311 days while our loved one Roy, a contractor in Iraq, was being held hostage. It was so difficult to keep going before his release. If we can help Jill's family in any way, we are here for them. Stay strong and keep the faith. We have a website: hostagefamilymatters.com.
Susan Hallums
Corona, Calif.

Appreciation from a firefighter

Both my twin and I work in harsh environments as firefighters. Jill, you work in a harsh environment, too, seeking the truth so the world will know the story of Iraq and the Iraqi people. We are lucky to have someone like you in Iraq, and I know in my heart that God is with you. I will pray every night until He returns you home safely. Godspeed, Jill.
Chris Rickard
Ottawa, Canada

Jill's courage will see her through

I was a public affairs officer with the Marines in Iraq last year and had the privilege of working with Jill on several occasions. Her professionalism and objectivity were unparalleled within the media community. I saw her in Husaybah, on the Syrian border, in early December shortly before I returned to the States. Aside from being very personable and down-to-earth, what really struck me was Jill's bravery. She seemed to fit right in with the Marines and Iraqi security forces. It is this attribute, I believe, that will see her through her current ordeal. My family and I will continue to keep Jill in our prayers. I am hopeful for her eventual release.
Patrick Kerr
New Orleans

The journalism connection

Though I never had the privilege of meeting Jill Carroll, I, too, studied journalism at the University of Massachusetts. I contacted the department a few days ago and was not surprised to learn that everyone is beside themselves.

There's nothing like an individual's story to bring home the gravity of the situation in Iraq. I am sending my love to Jill and her loved ones. May she be returned safely and continue to give a voice to the voiceless.
Frannie Carr
New York

For Jill's mom: love from a student

Jill Carroll's commitment to truth and peace, and news of her abduction, have opened our hearts. Jill's mother, Mary Beth, was my favorite high school teacher. She was the faculty leader of our school's Amnesty International group. She accompanied us to demonstrations against covert operations in Central America, nurtured our idealism, and took our dreams of peace seriously. She refused to allow us to underestimate ourselves, and she fiercely encouraged us to imagine a world without borders, bound by love and justice.

Reading about Jill, I know Mary Beth has given all of this and more to her daughters, every day of their lives. Jill is a precious gift of peace and global friendship. I have tremendous hope that she is alive, and that all goodness and right action and truth will converge to bring her home safely. Mary Beth, I am holding your hand. Your former students from Canton, Mich., love you, and we're paying attention.
Rachel Thiet
Hillsborough, N.H.

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