Calls for compassion in wake of Tuesday's terror

As a regular reader of your newspaper from India, I have always appreciated your balanced coverage of events like Tuesday's attacks. I want to emphasize that this is not just an American tragedy, but a world tragedy. We all share the outrage, humiliation, and despair at the loss of innocent lives and American property.

It is time for peace-loving and democratic citizens from all over the world to unite and root out terrorismin the name of religion. The US, India, and all those who subscribe to democratic principles and a world free of violence and hatred owe it to present and future generations.

Avi Sabavala Gujarat. India

One longs for leaders who will call things as they are. To sacrifice one's life on behalf of a cause is not an act of cowardice. The cause may be mistaken, the believer misled, but suicide bombers are not cowards. To root out evil, we must first identify it correctly. The US - home of modern democracy and freedom - exports weapons, cigarettes, drugs, and cultural products that degrade the human spirit. When we put "national interest" first, we shouldn't be offended when others do the same.

On Tuesday I took my car to a repair shop. The mechanics stepped inside periodically to check on the news. After hearing our president's remarks about cowards and his promise that the US will go full-tilt for retribution, one mechanic said, "To compare this attack to Pearl Harbor is incorrect. The worst terror ever wreaked on civilians was when the US dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki." Just so. Evil has no nation, no religion, no ethnicity. It will take true integrity - not military might - to be immune to attack.

Sara Gallant Waldoboro, Maine

When I went to work Tuesday, my day as a geriatric physician was more stressful than usual. I was excited about seeing my wife and son, who had planned their long-awaited flight from Iran to the US that day, ending 10 years of separation. When I got home, I had tears in my eyes as I watched the tragedy unfold. I hope that, despite the horrors of the day, it will still be possible for America and Americans to avoid drawing from the perpetrators' hate. I hope we will be humane and civilized as we go about the business of identifying and punishing those who are responsible.

As America came under attack, so, too, did everything around us - our open way of life, our freedoms, and my own family reunion. We must ask ourselves how we'll face tomorrow - whether we are Pentagon workers or the Iranian son of a Maine doctor going to school on Sept. 20.

Jabbar Fazeli

Lewiston, Maine

Your editorial, "Resilience and restraint" (Sept. 12) is appreciated. Particularly commendable is the focus on children's needs. However, the statement that "of 423 international terrorist incidents ... only 17 involved American[s]" misses the point. Children, who know no political boundaries, are the first to be concerned about the 406 other incidents. Let's lead the way in encouraging a compassionate response toward all acts of terrorism.

Gwen Sensenig Helena, Mont.

I visited your website Tuesday and read "Today's Article on Christian Science," and for the first time in that long and arduous afternoon, I felt such relief and hope. Thank you for the reminder that God is with us and that we, as a people and a nation, will survive this and come out stronger. I will continue my prayers for those who departed this world on Tuesday, and for those connected to them - be they family, friends, neighbors, or the millions of us observers worldwide.

Joy Johnson Alturas, Calif.

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