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Share your thoughts on the second anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks

Two years after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, America has unmistakably changed. Yet, as time heals the emotional and physical wounds of that day, many aspects of life have returned to the way they were. What are your thoughts on this, the second anniversary of the disaster? Has the nation taken to heart the lessons of that searing event? Are we safer today than we were? Or are we at greater peril? How do you rate the job the Bush administration has done combatting terrorism? And what is your opinion on the rebuilding of Ground Zero? What should rise there, and what should the victims' memorial look like?

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Page 11

Two years ago I sat stunned before the television in Washington, DC as I watched the horror unfold in NYC, PA, and at the Pentagon. I recall watching local coverage of the Pentagon attack and looking into the eyes of the doctors and nurses standing outside the hospital in Alexandria, hoping to offer help to the surviving Pentagon victims. No ambulances arrived, but cars sped in, some driven by bloody and partially uniformed service personnel, others by clearly distraught civilians. And each time the news anchor would softly comment "And we are still waiting for the survivors..." Sadly, much as in NYC, the hospitals could offer little help. DC changed in an instant: the mass exodus from downtown which choked Connecticut Ave., the rising plume of smoke on the southwestern horizon, and the shell-shocked look we all wore on our faces. Still, we drove on: we lined the streets with candles at night, showed our love for the fire and police personnel, "adopted" the National Guardsmen who stood watch on the corner outside my office, and struggled to not let the terrorists win. I will never forget those days, nor should anyone else, but we must drive on and forge a new and better future for ourselves and our world. My thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and families of those lost on 09/11/01, and of those still struggling with their memories and grief. RIP J.C. Chavez & LT (j.g.) D.H. Pontell.

Richard, Salem

Amazing how this happend two years ago. I dont see it as two years ago. It seems as if it was just a little while ago. Sad what has happent yet amazing how people still go on. My prayers and hopes go out to those who have lost in that tragic event. I know that you will move on. It will be hard but, do it for the ones youve lost. Here in my nabiorhood a family lost their daughter. Last year on the one year anniversary at a local church they spoke. It broke my heart. Its sad. They shouldnt rebuild there, that would be as if people are saying hey scew you. Excuse me but thats wrong. Just leave everything the way it is, thats how it is ment to be. Untouched. So they may rest there, in peace. For they have been through enough of the bull. September 11th a day I will never forget. Im never going to forget the kid Jake who came into the computer lab and sayd OMG the towers were bombed. A prankster for sure, but no. My classmates and I watched it unfold online sitting in our class room. I wont even forget that day, not ever. What I wore. Never. Forever in my heart those people and their familys. God bless

C.Aiello, Billerica, MA

To all of you who feel compelled, on this day of all days, to say that those 3,000 mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, sons, daughters, firefighters, port authority workers, police officers, friends and loved ones who perished two years ago today "deserved" their fate because America is somehow an evil country -- shame on you. Have you no heart, no soul, no conscience? Today should be about grieving, remembering and honoring -- not blame (other than for the cowards who committed, supported and sponsored this horrendous act), and most certainly NOT politics. God bless all those who lives were lost, who were injured, who lost loved ones, and who put their lives on the line. God bless all of the children who lost mommies and daddies that day. God bless America.

Melissa, Waltham

I still cannot think about that day. It is so unbelievable to this day that this actually occurred. I seen a 3 year old comforting her hysterical mother on 9/11/01 on TV. She was patting her mother on the back and saying that everything would be OK. It choked me up because that little girl was most likely robbed of a parent. She will grow up only knowing of her father only as a memory. I can't think of anything that is more unfortunate. What did the acts of September 11, 01 buy the Islamic peoples? So far 2 wars and the mistrust of the greatest country on the earth. The random acts of violence on 9/11 hit people that had no idea of the terrorists cause. What value was in that? These terrorists believed that this act of evil get them on the express train to paradise and a seat with Allah. How plain self-centered and outright ignorant can someone be? The villians that did this are surely burning in hell with Hitler and all other thoughtless mass murderers.

T, Worcester

I am sick to my stomach. To remember too clearly the heart ache and sorrow from the day all too well, while 1200 Bostonians went to protest the Patriot Act the other day.... Frankly I am embarrassed and sickened by their actions. I am embarrassed to be American. It's too bad the right to free speech protects stupid speech. Wake up America! If we do not protect ourselves, we are just setting ourselves up again. Might does not make right, however France and Germany have proved that if America does not protect ourselves then nobody else is willing to either. It is not right to sacrifice the convenience of some in order to put the rest of the US in danger. My thoughts are to those who lost loved ones because of 9/11. All of America suffered a loss, but yours is incalculable.

Dan, Newbury, MA

I feel very VERY strongly that Ground Zero should NOT be rebuilt. Leave it alone and let these victim's rest in peace.

Kristin, Framingham

I will never forget what I was doing when those planes hit the twin towers. I just sat there in disbelief. I was shocked but then thought about it and realized that we have been way too complacent about our own security in this country. We walked around like it "could never happen to us" which wasn't a reality. My thoughts and prayers are with the family members who have lost loved ones. I wish them peace. I will always remember them and think of them on this day. I also think it should be a national holiday. God bless

Laurie , Hyannis, MA

I still think of the tradgedy of September 11. September 11 is my son's birthday. We were all sad that day espeically my son, a day he will never forget. All we can do is pray for the souls of the people who died on that horrific day. We must never forget and we must always be prepared.

Francesca, Stoneham

Dear friends: Two years to the day...the severest test of our faith still endures. Few can walk away from the events of September 11th and not recall to definitive where they were and the utter disbelief felt. It still...seems like the worst Hollywood film ever made. Personally, whether I contemplate the loss of my military comrades at Beirut Airport in Lebanon, or the anger felt when viewing the damage done by a fellow American veteran during our Oklahoma City rescue efforts...this day, is all the more poignant. The utter selfishness of each of these acts, escapes me in explanation. But...rising above tragedy, resilient as we Americans are the nation over, we have again responded with a opening of ourselves to each other. We had to, as it would be harder for any one of us to be able to move forward from that awful day. For many, it is harder than others. My aunt for example, long-time flight attendant for United Airlines. Like many, she lost some of the best friends and co-workers she ever had. Initially, she stepped away from her job, like so many others. The great fear of it all, engulfed her. Completely natural...for any mom and spouse to feel the need to do. Who can ever fault any of them, so visibly shaken as they were. As I paused to reflect upon the impact of one fellow American's post-9-11 decision, I realized that this could be seen as victory for the sickos that targeted us and the world's diversity. I thought, if we all stay home...a faceless ghost none of us know...wins the quiet victory. I was as resolved not to hand an easy victory to a still unknown "enemy of peace", just as I was April 20, 1995... when I jumped a plane and flew to Oklahoma City to let them know Beantown, the "right coast"...stood with them. I was proud as could be, when we New Englanders both rallied to our victimized area's fellow Americans while also, courageously returning to the certain face of previous unexperienced uncertainty. An unwelcome gutcheck for all, was responded to...with the greatest force we have to offer each other...unity. My aunt, thank God, has since made it back into a plane. She stepped back upon that little narrow rug, raised her chin, antied up...and kicked in. Others in the airline industry...followed. As did the passengers and visitors from our international family. All of them, are my heroes. I chose to go work at Logan International Airport to draw a line in the sand, with 900 brave others. No more planes... no more lives...defiant confidence in the face of fear. Thankfully, we have not lost any more planes from Logan International Airport...nor do we ever again intend to. Scary as it is checking strangers and bags for possible bombs, we have showed up every day. We, as a group, under- stand that we only get one shot at it. The credit for our faith, resolve and success...goes to each of you. Our federal Homeland Security teams and airlines crews, risk for each of you...because we love you as our fellow citizens, because we will always welcome your immigrant loved ones and because each of you are worth it. Keep your heads proud of yourselves. You're survivors. May God Bless us all and may God Bless America!

Andrew, Logan International Airport

What's terrible is that its now 2 years later and we are no safer now than we were then and the man responsible is still at large. All the while the Bush administration still opposes mandatory screening of airline cargo because it might cost their corporate pals a few bucks. Wave that flag.

Tom, Waltham

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