To the Editor:

As a middle-aged woman with a husband and a teenage son, I’d like to tell you how I feel.

When I went to see the movie “Pearl Harbor” this summer, I remember thinking “I’m glad I wasn’t alive when that happened.” And I also hoped I wouldn’t live long enough to see it come to our homeland again or that it just never would be here on our own mainland soil.

When I was 20 I went to Hawaii because I had heard so much about it being a virtual paradise, and THAT it was. (And at 20, I was very idealistic.) But I went to the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor (compliments of the Navy), and I saw the bullet holes in the hangers of Hickam Air Force Base . and that made it all so real.

So when I saw the movie this summer, the tears just rolled! I also remember thinking what a great movie to show in history classes for our children to see the price people have paid for our freedom and our comfortable lifestyle – I believe they have a pretty good idea now and will see much more in the coming months.

Also, this summer, I happened to watch The Patriot on TV.

Another very moving story about the “war” right here at home. At one point, Mel Gibson attended a meeting where he said he was opposed to fighting the war as he said it would be right in our own front yards, there for our children to see. And so it was (he watched one of his sons killed before his very own eyes in his front yard as the other children looked on). Very eye-opening movie.

On the one hand, it’s difficult to make any sense out of this behavior.

But then again, right at home, we have road rage, air rage, sports rage, and the two biggies: domestic violence and school violence. So, isn’t that just a smaller scale of what goes on? Tell me a small child doesn’t feel absolute fear and helplessness when daddy’s beating on mommy (or vice versa) or those students at Columbine were not terrified beyond their wildest dreams!

It’s appalling to me to see some of the people in foreign lands laughing, rejoicing, and just downright happy that this has finally happened to the United States. One person actually said, “I hope it happens more to the United States.” That’s interesting, because I’ve never found myself happy to hear of the tragedies overseas, the senseless fighting, the hatred.

So, what makes us different? I think, for one, I (we) take our great nation for granted. Most of us don’t know what it’s like to go to bed hungry or scared for our safety or the safety of our loved ones. We haven’t lived in the day-to-day tragedy that some of these countries do.

Our economy, although it has its ups and downs, has been pretty good. We live well in America, and isn’t that why so many come to the Promised Land).

I guess I’d just like to say that maybe we really should have gotten involved long ago, beefing up our security everywhere when Oklahoma City had their tragedy, when the USS Cole was attacked, and now the WTC. Of course, that’s why it’s called hindsight!

It’s too bad that we’ve had to have the “sleeping giant” awoken twice!

Terry Neff

Administrative Assistant

Career Services and Cooperative Education


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