Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

Home · Articles · News · Random Thoughts · What will I Do on 9/11?
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What will I Do on 9/11?

George Foster - September 12th, 2002
I don‘t remember who told me but the shocking news left me in a daze.
A year ago I heard about the terrorist attack as I stood in the Isle Royale ranger station. I had just hiked 10 miles that morning through some of the most beautiful wilderness in North America simultaneously while planes were ramming into skyscrapers. Without the benefit of live TV or radio coverage for most of that fateful day, images I had of the suicide attacks seemed like a horrific nightmare or surely someone‘s idea of a bad joke.
Sitting on the shore of Lake Superior for hour upon hour, I could only hope my grounded puddle-jumper would materialize after the FAA came to their senses and realized there were no terrorists on Isle Royale. Only a few hikers remained on the island and we all were anxious to return home in order to learn more details of the attack. Being cut off from mass communications at a time like this was nerve-wracking but turned out to be blessing in disguise. I was alone with my own thoughts: who could commit such an evil act? Was this the blow that would trigger World War III? I remember praying for the world.
Of course, one year later, the images of smoldering buildings, planes slicing into the World Trade Center, and people running for their lives have been played over and over by the media. The disturbing scenes have become etched in our collective memory forever. If I am forced to listen to Rudy Giuliani drone on one more time about how courageous New Yorkers are (of course, he is right), I will scream.
The one-year anniversary of the most infamous terrorist act in history falls this week. Some will stay glued to the tube, crying, as they watch those buildings collapse for the umpteenth time. Other enraged Americans will discuss bloody revenge against al-Qaeda, Iraq, and whoever seems remotely responsible. Some will shrink with fear from flying commercial flights, entering skyscrapers, or even leaving their home.
As for me - I can‘t imagine watching TV on that day. What can be said or reported by the media that is new? Who could they interview that we haven‘t heard recently? Only Osama bin Laden, himself.
Everyone will handle the anniversary in his or her own way. My inclination is to go back to my isolated island and focus on the beauty in this world. Somehow that, too, seems cowardly - running away while our nation is struggling to come to grips with an invisible enemy.
Remember how tolerant of others and how unified we all felt in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy? George W. Bush had a 110% approval rating. Americans traveled from thousands of miles away to volunteer at ground zero. Democrats held hands with Republicans. Firefighters were finally recognized as the heroes they always have been. Even Fidel Castro condemned the terrorist attacks against America.
The War on Terrorism declared by our government will take many years and work on several different levels. For me, September 11th is a reminder that my energy is best spent working to remove hostility in my own small world rather than focusing on rounding up enemies.
What better way to commemorate the anniversary of 9/11 than to tell your significant other that he or she is loved? Call a friend or family member with whom you have not spoken in a while and say that you care. Perform a random act of kindness for someone in need. Kiss your children. Pet your dog or cat vigorously. Give yourself a big pat on the back.
We will never forget the horror of September 11th, but these are also times that we could learn to love more and hate less.


 
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