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Rich Stern

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I was watching the CBS news coverage this evening, and witnessed some uplifting quotes and heart rending stories:



- Ed Koch (former Mayor of NYC): "We're going to rebuild those towers."

- Interviewer: "Don't you think we'll just be rebuilding a target?"

- Ed Koch: "There are already lots of targets. What are we going to do? Hide the Statue of Liberty in a closet? We're a first class nation. We don't not do things because of the threats of others."



An on the street interview with a woman in NYC who just recently became a U.S. citizen:

- Interviewer: "Have your feelings changed about this country, about being here?"

- Woman: "Absolutely not. I love this country. I'm going to visit the Empire State Building today."



And a heartbreaking interview with the CEO of a bond trading company who has 700 of his 1000 employees missing, including his brother:

- CEO (breaking down in tears): "We're missing 700 people, and I have to tell them [the families] they're gone."

- Interviewer: "The bond markets were open today. Your firm is critical to the bond market."

- CEO: "Yes, we handle about $50 trillion a year in transactions."

- Interviewer: "How could your remaining people possibly do that?"

- CEO (again breaking down): "The market board asked us to be open for business. That it was important. All 300 surviving employees stayed up all night, working every second of every hour to make sure we could be ready in the morning, without worrying about who was to their left or to their right, they just worked all night."



I'm sure you've all been seeing and hearing similar scenes.



Americans are a pretty tough bunch. Look out world, we're gonna come out swinging.

 

TrepMan

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Right on Rich! It will be a tough and long road back to normalcy, which will be a different normal than we are used to.



We'll attack, retaliate, rebuild - a stronger, more powerful and safer USA.



TrepMan
 

Ken Neeley

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God Bless America...give us the strength, power and determination to right these atrocities.
 

Rob LaMoy

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I heard it once said, "When you stand head and shoulders above the rest, you make for an easy target!" We are the greatest nation in the world, so I say to those who are looking up at us out of jealousy, "BRING IT!" With God on our side, this country will prevail!
 

William Schram

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Miami Herald

Leonard Pitts Jr.



Published Wednesday, September 12, 2001





We'll go forward from this moment

It's my job to have something to say.

They pay me to provide words that help make sense of that which troubles the American soul. But in this moment of airless shock when hot tears sting disbelieving eyes, the only thing I can find to say, the only words that seem to fit, must be addressed to the unknown author of this suffering.



You monster. You beast. You unspeakable bastard.



What lesson did you hope to teach us by your coward's attack on our World Trade Center, our Pentagon, us? What was it you hoped we would learn? Whatever it was, please know that you failed.



Did you want us to respect your cause? You just damned your cause.



Did you want to make us fear? You just steeled our resolve.



Did you want to tear us apart? You just brought us together.



Let me tell you about my people. We are a vast and quarrelsome family, a family rent by racial, social, political and class division, but a family nonetheless. We're frivolous, yes, capable of expending tremendous emotional energy on pop cultural minutiae -- a singer's revealing dress, a ball team's misfortune, a cartoon mouse. We're wealthy, too, spoiled by the ready availability of trinkets and material goods, and maybe because of that, we walk through life with a certain sense of blithe entitlement. We are fundamentally decent, though -- peace-loving and compassionate. We struggle to know the right thing and to do it. And we are, the overwhelming majority of us, people of faith, believers in a just and loving God.



Some people -- you, perhaps -- think that any or all of this makes us weak. You're mistaken. We are not weak. Indeed, we are strong in ways that cannot be measured by arsenals.





IN PAIN



Yes, we're in pain now. We are in mourning and we are in shock. We're still grappling with the unreality of the awful thing you did, still working to make ourselves understand that this isn't a special effect from some Hollywood blockbuster, isn't the plot development from a Tom Clancy novel. Both in terms of the awful scope of their ambition and the probable final death toll, your attacks are likely to go down as the worst acts of terrorism in the history of the United States and, probably, the history of the world. You've bloodied us as we have never been bloodied before.



But there's a gulf of difference between making us bloody and making us fall. This is the lesson Japan was taught to its bitter sorrow the last time anyone hit us this hard, the last time anyone brought us such abrupt and monumental pain. When roused, we are righteous in our outrage, terrible in our force. When provoked by this level of barbarism, we will bear any suffering, pay any cost, go to any length, in the pursuit of justice.



I tell you this without fear of contradiction. I know my people, as you, I think, do not. What I know reassures me. It also causes me to tremble with dread of the future.



In the days to come, there will be recrimination and accusation, fingers pointing to determine whose failure allowed this to happen and what can be done to prevent it from happening again. There will be heightened security, misguided talk of revoking basic freedoms. We'll go forward from this moment sobered, chastened, sad. But determined, too. Unimaginably determined.





THE STEEL IN US



You see, the steel in us is not always readily apparent. That aspect of our character is seldom understood by people who don't know us well. On this day, the family's bickering is put on hold.



As Americans we will weep, as Americans we will mourn, and as Americans, we will rise in defense of all that we cherish.



So I ask again: What was it you hoped to teach us? It occurs to me that maybe you just wanted us to know the depths
 

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