I have read and reread David Broder's excellent column, “Transforming moments,” several times and I cannot escape the conclusion that he is right. Sept. 11 was not “this generation's Pearl Harbor.”
My parents' generation went through a crushing depression with massive hardship and unemployment. My generation and the next wails over the loss of conveniences and the scarcity of jobs in a 5 percent unemployment rate - a fraction of what the past generation endured.
My parents' generation forged heroes in the fires of the Depression and in the hells of Omaha Beach, Tarawa, and Iwo Jima. That generation recognized its heroes and knew how to honor them, welcoming them home with parades and celebrations.
My generation's heroes fought in the hells of Vietnam, but when they came home, many of their fellow citizens turned from their support of communist tyranny and their self-righteous criticism of their government only long enough to spit upon them and call them baby killers.
The disgraces of the Vietnam era continue today. Liberals make smug yet whiny apologies for actions taken to eradicate terrorism by the emerging heroes of my children's generation. The media are full of claptrap from people who are less concerned with direct attacks on their own country and the massacre of their fellow citizens than with finding fault in their country's response. How pathetically selfish.
None of these people is any more worthy of being called the peers of the men and women in uniform than were their predecessors who condemned the veterans of Vietnam while sympathizing with the enemy.
This generation knows nothing of national crisis. Its Pearl Harbor will be whatever deprives it of its capacity for self-indulgent posturing.
I really appreciate the relentless enthusiasm and dedication on the part of President Bush and his administration in cracking down on terrorism, but this whole concept of using a military tribunal to prosecute suspects is dangerous and scary. From this standpoint, it is foreseeable to deduce potential dreadful ramifications as a direct result of military court employment. If we do not have enough faith in our criminal justice system, then let the whole world get involved by perhaps utilizing the United Nations or the World Court.
Military proceedings are known for their secrecy and the whole process is embodied by a different judicial system and consequently could elicit prejudice, possible omission or exclusion of key evidence and/or witnesses, unjust verdicts, deprivation of appeals and review of cases from higher courts, inadequate representation of potential suspects, and so on.
This entire idea could prove to be dictatorial, which is the very same thing we despise from other nations like Iraq. I think it's a step in reverse for freedom and democracy. America has been the leading country to advocate and actively lecture other nations regarding human rights and civil liberties.
No matter how horrific Sept. 11 was, we should never be so overcome by human emotions that we would resort to quashing our ideologies. This great tragedy that befell our country has taught us many things. It has made us united, resilient, and vigilant. Furthermore, we have improved our homeland security by tenfold and opened our eyes in actually implementing INS modifications.
Let us have a good balance and not go overboard. Military tribunals could ultimately lead to social and political disaster if not carefully studied and properly drafted.
DANIEL B. RUFO
In response to the Dec. 3 editorial, “Return of the poppies,” I propose a new pledge of allegiance to anti-terrorism. Please bear in mind that only last year we gave $43 million to the Afghan government (Taliban) to dispose of poppy fields used to produced opiate-based products.
I suggest a flyer be “dropped” over Afghanistan:
“We are Americans. Collectively we are rich with cash and technology to achieve a desired outcome. For you, the Afghan farmer, just submit how much poppy product you think you could produce and we will send you all the cash you would have received for that product on the world market. We are proud to pay this ransom in advance because, well, we simply don't trust ourselves to find solutions to our drug problems. Hence, our obscene prison problem.
“Name your price, just please don't harm us, surely you must know we're cowards by now!”
The Blade published an excellent article Dec. 3 by Blade reporters Jim Sielicki and Mike Tressler on the combined subject of the Territorial Road and the historical markers commemorating the Ohio-Michigan War (1835) at Seward, Ohio.
To do justice to the historical markers subject, the following facts are helpful. The present marker was sponsored by the First Universalist Church, Lyons, Ohio, and the Fulton Chapter, Ohio Genealogical Society, joined later by the Lyons Area Historical Society and researched and initiated by myself.
The Ohio Bicentennial Commission marker, to be erected on the site next year, is sponsored by the Fulton County Historical Society. It was researched and the application was submitted by me.
For the record, there are three individuals who were of great assistance to the project: Jan Schmidt, of the Fulton Chapter, OGS; who assisted in writing the application; Dr. Charles Lindquist, Lenawee County Historical Society Museum, who composed the marker wordage, and Mark Lozer, vice president, Fulton County Historical Society, who was instrumental in obtaining the sponsorship, putting the application in booklet form, and designing its cover.
Seems to me that American voters got strangely shortchanged after the 2000 presidential elections. Many voted Republican because George W. Bush had those na ve little schoolboy looks and Dick Cheney had those powerful problem-solving brains.
Now check your evening news. Nothing there about Mr. Cheney. Sorta like a mole. Rarely pokes his neck above ground.
For voters, it's kinda like sticking a quarter in a machine that promises you'll get one little gum ball and one big gum ball.
Whoa! Only one gum ball trickles out.
It's a good-looking gum ball. But its so little!
A recent letter from a Defiance reader underscored what is obvious to residents in Sylvania Township - that the trustees are committed to unbridled development of Central Avenue in an effort to replicate Airport Highway. The writer observed that several acres of forested land were destroyed in one day to make way for a Lowes store.
The residents are wrongly perceived as obstructionists when they oppose such new projects. What is really distressing is the abrogation of existing rules by the trustees and their appointed appeal boards who act with obvious impunity.
For example, zoning changes, code variances, and ignoring the Central Avenue overlay happen so often that those documents have become almost meaningless. The recent election resulted in one of the incumbent trustees being defeated. As the residents become more and more disenchanted with the big projects and their attendant traffic problems, perhaps more new faces will be elected.
EDWARD J. NUSSEL
Glaston Oaks Court
If having pride in being an American is a sin, as a recent Forum letter writer stated, then I plan on being a proud sinner the rest of my days.