Terrorism can no longer be avoided

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 13, 2001

Sports Editor

The obvious cliche’ is to say it’s like something out of a movie.

But this movie is not going to end.

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No credits will roll and those three planes that ended our brief age of innocence and invincibility were not computer generated. The collapse of New York City’s famed World Trade Center Towers was not the work of a Hollywood special effects crew. The U. S. President who spoke to us yesterday was not Martin Sheen from NBC’s television show The West Wing, but George Walker Bush, elected under a storm of controversy not so long ago and now a man who carries an incredible amount of weight on his shoulders.

As I write this on Wednesday, the U.S.S George Washington is sitting outside New York Harbor along with several other frigates and destroyers. The U.S. Navy is also out in force on the West Coast and our borders to Canada and Mexico, if not still closed, are being scrutinized more then ever since yesterday’s events.

We have become Fortress America.

The stories coming out of New York tear at the soul. People leaping from the burning towers, choosing rather to die that way then from the flames caused by a jetliner’s fuel. A man and woman holding hands as they jumped to a certain death. Trapped citizens of the United States, caught in the upper levels of the doomed buildings, calling loved ones with cellular phones for one last goodbye.

These were people just like you and me. Mothers, fathers, daughters and sons of America who were just starting a normal Tuesday morning at work.

Like us, they were looking forward to the weekend. Like us, they enjoyed hot dogs at baseball games, attended church on Sunday and celebrated the same holidays.

I saw things on Tuesday that I have never seen before in my life. I saw a New York City police officer break down in tears. I saw a fireman struggling to find words, after it was reported that over 200 of New York’s finest had lost their lives during the two towers collapse. I saw people in one of America’s greatest cities running for their lives as a pile of dust and debris chased them through New York’s canyons.

As worse as Pearl Harbor was on Dec. 7, 1941, it can not compare to what happened yesterday.

And somewhere out there, someone – maybe the alleged Osama bin Laden – laughs and rejoices at his handiwork.

It is the official U.S. policy to not attempt the assassination of supposed persons that may threaten the peace and the lives of American citizens.

Following yesterday’s tragedies, I say it’s high time we rethink that policy.