It is very encouraging to see the way most Americans have united during this time of turmoil. News reports have stated that people have waited up to seven hours to donate a pint of blood. Many people are donating money and needed items to the recovery efforts and to the victims' survivors.
The most visible sign of the American spirit is the large number of flags being displayed, hanging from buildings, in windows, and in offices. When people ask what my favorite color is, I reply red, white, and blue.
But I realized that I did not know what the meanings of those specific colors were, so I did a little research. I found a quote from the book Our Flag that is attributed to Charles Thompson, secretary of the Continental Congress, reporting to Congress about the colors of the Great Seal of the United States: “The colors of the pales (the vertical stripes) are those used in the flag of the United States of America; White signifies purity and innocence, Red, hardiness and valour, and Blue, the color of the Chief (the broad band above the stripes) signifies vigilance, perseverance, and justice.”
Whenever you see a flag, notice the white and think of the victims of the terrorist attacks. Notice the red and think of those involved in the rescue efforts and the people in the military mobilized in this war effort. Notice the blue and remember that the war on terrorism will be long and not without sacrifices.
Think of these things when you see the flag flying high from a flagpole or draped over the casket of a fallen warrior.
JOHN H. CLARK
The terrorist actions of Sept. 11 were shocking and obscene.
Action is warranted, but massive retaliatory strikes will not prevent similar terrorist attempts from happening again. A military response will put additional lives at risk, both U.S. servicemen and women as well as innocent citizens located close to terrorists. I have serious doubts that a sustained military campaign against terrorists will bring any fundamental changes in the reasons motivating their actions.
I urge our leaders to consider the following steps:
Take action to make our commercial air system safer for passengers. I am willing to sacrifice some of my personal freedom and privacy to restore confidence that the air transportation system in the United States can return to provide the service and safety we were accustomed to prior to the terrorist strikes.
Take action to understand why terrorists have targeted U.S. citizens. Is there anything fundamental about terrorist motivation that the United States can change without compromising our principles? What can be done about the presence of the U.S. military near holy sites that are part of the motivation for terrorists to take obscene acts against all Americans? Can the United States present clear evidence to the rulers in Afghanistan to substantiate the need for extradition of Osama bin Laden and other terrorist leaders? These questions need to be considered in determining the appropriate military response to the terrorist strikes.
With the understandable feelings of anger resulting from the attacks on Sept. 11, declaring war seems like the right thing to do. Our nation should consider whether there are alternatives that may have a better chance of being a long-term deterrent to terrorist strikes.
MARK E. SONGER
It was revealing to read Ray Kest's response to the endorsement of Jack Ford for mayor by eight members of Toledo City Council.
He discounts the commitment of support for Jack Ford and accuses council members of being bossed around and pressured. The citizens of Toledo need to know that, actually, it has been some of Mr. Kest's supporters, and his political operatives, who have tried to intimidate some council members. In many ways, the overwhelming support for Jack Ford is a direct result of the Kest camp's pressures.
Regarding “fund-raising being tied up,” it is organizations supporting Mr. Kest that have withheld their endorsement and financial support of some council members because they refused to get on the Kest bandwagon.
Finally, every voter in Toledo should note that Jack Ford has never belittled or dismissed the good Democratic elected office holders who have endorsed Ray Kest. Yet, unfortunately, Mr. Kest has chosen to belittle elected officials who support Jack Ford. Ultimately, we must all work together.
Mr. Kest seems to believe that endorsements and support are only obtained by bossism and intimidation. Mr. Ford has sought the support of council members, and others, based on his willingness to work with us to move our city forward.
Toledo City Council
Let's all pity the whining gasoline retailer who was forced to close his pumps after frightened citizens rushed in to top off their fuel tanks in the wake of the attacks on New York and Washington.
We did not hear him whimper about the full cash registers that this sell off also caused. If he was such a humanitarian and a true American he would be selling gasoline at a fair price versus the inflated market price that he had a heavy hand in causing.
While Osama Bin Laden was evidently responsible for the sudden attack on the United States, OPEC and the American gasoline industry have been stealing from us for years. As we search out the foreign terrorists, we should also look very closely at those who have been robbing us blind at the gas pumps.
They fill my heart with a terrible sadness and my eyes with tears. The images of destruction are overwhelming, surreal, and horrifying. The media's pervasive coverage is disturbing but no less compelling.
I am terrified by the images, yet I also feel a profound sense of pride and comfort. A relative handful of unimaginable and evil acts have been swiftly counteracted by an infinite number of acts of courage, compassion, and duty of an immeasurable magnitude.
Our limitations are clear to prevent these terrible actions against us; we simply cannot. But our ability to overcome them is limitless. It is the most extraordinary characteristic of our country and our culture. It is our national anthem and, it is our truest power.
We will never be the same.
We will be better.
Your story about the citizens' suit against Buckeye Egg Farm vastly understated the state's accomplishments. I would like to give your readers a better idea of what Ohio EPA and the Attorney General's office have accomplished in our legal actions against the company.
The state's settlement with Buckeye Egg in February requires the company to overhaul the chicken barns, which includes the addition of a new manure-handling system. The overhaul and belt-battery system is estimated to cost $50 million. In addition, the settlement stipulates that additional engineering, construction, and maintenance must be performed. The value of the settlement, therefore, is conservatively estimated to be $60 million, which far exceeds the $1.37 million civil penalty mentioned in the story.
My staff will continue working to bring this company into compliance with state laws, and we won't rest until we have done so.
It is wonderful to see all the signs asking God to bless our country.
Outside of church I usually only hear His name being used to ask Him to damn something.