to the Editor

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Thursday, September 13, 2001

America Attacked

Editorial was unfair to the president

I was very disappointed by the Star-Bulletin's editorial Tuesday doubting our president's resolve to deal with the attacks on American cities. It concludes a lack of will from the president because it saw no Rooseveltian "date of infamy" speech. This desire for showmanship over leadership has cost our nation dearly in the past and should not be the measure of a leader.

The larger point here, however, is the issue of our support for our leaders. As Americans, we are all responsible for this support, one that declares our unity and resolve in the face of our enemies.

In times such as these when that resolve for freedom is tested, we must come together as one people standing united with our leaders. May we all realize the importance of that support to our community and nation. God bless America.

Lance Fairly

American spirit will prevail

I am 25 years old. I belong to a generation that has never fully grasped the adversity that America faced to provide us with the rights we have long taken for granted. We were born into privilege; bathed in freedom; swaddled in liberty. We could afford to be apathetic because our security was unchallenged and unyielding. All of that changed this week.

As we sit glued to our televisions, watching images that are as horrible as they are surreal, I implore my fellow citizens to rally together. Replace apathy with empathy. Use the rage growing deep within each of us as motivation to demonstrate to the world that we are as strong and as proud as ever, that for all the criticisms we may have about our government it is a system and way of life we will fight to defend.

We are a nation of proud men and women and we will not cower from anyone. If you are healthy, give blood. If you have the resources, donate money. Stand by your fellow citizens and behind your leaders. If you are near the affected areas, volunteer your time or services. We have long lay dormant as a country that relied on its rhetoric; it is now time to awaken and demonstrate that we are a people of action.

Our cities can burn to the ground, but we will build them again. Our buildings can collapse, but our nation will not fall. During this time of terror and war, we must stand up together as a people, lean on each other, support each other, and leave no shadow of a doubt that we will not rest until our lives and liberties are secured once again.

Trisha Kehaulani Watson
Law student
University of Hawaii-Manoa


"I will go and I will do everything I can to assure them that they should continue to come to Hawaii."

Gov. Ben Cayetano

On the message he will deliver to Japanese citizens when he travels to Japan at the end of the month. The governor postponed a Friday trip to China because of concern over the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C.

"You feel for all those people involved (in the terrorist attacks), and you feel you have to do something."

Evan Sutton

Sprint PCS technician, waiting to donate blood at the Blood Bank on Dillingham Boulevard.

Our leaders have let us down

Tuesday it was shown to us in graphic detail that the United States government is no longer able to protect its citizens. The responsibility for the protection of the citizens is in the preamble of the Constitution. The preamble is only one sentence and not difficult to understand. Why can't we get it right? At this moment I feel my government has abdicated its responsibility.

I have heard that we should have a terrorist czar and a war on terrorism. Would that be similar to the drug czar and the war on drugs? I hope not as those have been largely ineffective.

These attacks show an enormous lapse in our intelligence. I submit that the people we have elected to represent us are losing credibility at an alarming rate and they (Hawaii's representatives included) had better shape up and do something to get control of this situation. There is a lot of anger and frustration out here.

Fred R. Boll

Wrong reaction could breed more hate

After Tuesday's events, we must all ask ourselves, "With each deed and thought we have, are we adding love to this planet or anger and fear?"

I hope you will all join me in praying for the victims of this attack as well as the people who planned and executed this act. They above all others need our love. Anger will only send them deeper into their wounds.

My heart is full of sadness as I write this, but there is also a glimmer of hope that we can use this event as a wake up call, and wake up to what the real problem is -- our incessant need to be right and to judge and to feel safe by being the righteous ones.

The terrorists too believed they were right. Let us learn to love instead of judge before the rhetoric of righteousness kills us all.

Susan Gregg

Weak security allowed terrorists to succeed

The worst terrorist attack against America could have been prevented.

Airport and airline security is so lax that four commercial airliners were easily hijacked at one time. We Americans should sacrifice our convenience for stricter airport and airline security. Maybe we should have the same security procedures as the Israeli's. Why can't the pilot's cockpit be secured and protected like a bank's vault? And the airlines should consider hiring on-board security personnel.

Arsenio R. Pelayo

Security brought traffic to halt

We all see the necessity for the heightened security surrounding our military bases and airport facilities in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on the mainland.

However, we do not see the need for the traffic that accompanies the security.

Coming from the North Shore (departing at 7:40 a.m.), my morning commute yesterday seemed to move along as usual until I reached the Dole Plantation on Kamehameha Highway. It was all STOP and no GO. The time was 8 a.m.

When another 20 minutes passed and I had only moved as far as Poamoho Plantation Housing, I called to work to let them know of my guaranteed delay.

The policy of having one check point gate in and one gate out at Schofield Barracks and Wheeler Airfield had crippled the roadways moving through to downtown Honolulu. There we all sat in our vehicles. With the morning heat mounting, many drivers got out of their vehicles for a stretch or just some fresh air. The driver in front of me got out and removed his shirt to cool off.

As a female, dressed in Honolulu business attire, I envied him. Inch by inch our journey continued. Many of our enlisted personnel were abandoning their vehicles along the road side and at Kemoo Farm shops and walking to the entry gate.

The traffic and the gridlock was staggering. Just to get to Mililani from Dole Plantation when I joined the traffic took more than one hour. Traffic coming from the east heading into Wahiawa was backed up past Kipapa Gulch in Mililani.

It dawned on me that some sort of park-and-ride operation set up in Mililani or Waipio (maybe the new Central Park?) would have helped to alleviate this traffic, and likewise for military personnel traveling from the North Shore communities of Waialua, Haleiwa and beyond.

If they could have parked safely in these outer communities, then been bused to their appropriate bases so much angst, stress and road rage could have been avoided. And those of us who still had another hour of dealing with traffic beyond Mililani and into downtown Honolulu would have had an easier passage.

I'm not looking forward to what Thursday morning holds in store. I'm not looking forward to the reopening of Honolulu International Airport either as that will stall us even further. I am looking forward to a brighter day and a better plan.

Once past the airport it was commute as usual with the "normal" crunch and slow down in the Middle Street area. When I finally arrived at my destination across from the Blaisdell Arena on Kapiolani Boulevard, the time was 10:10 a.m.

Yvette N. Fernandez

Aloha state needs to send volunteers

I am very disturbed to know that during a disaster such as the terrorist attack in New York our state government is unwilling to support a paid leave for state workers who want to volunteer to assist.

After taking mental health disaster training and working as a psychiatric nurse for more than 10 years, I am appalled that I am expected to use my own vacation leave to volunteer my time.

Forty-eight of the 50 states support a paid leave. What a shame and disgrace it is that the state of Hawaii that does not support the same.

I feel that in this tragic situation, many people are losing out on valuable resources. We must support the Red Cross in pushing for a bill to pass this critical support measure.

Michael Springhetti

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The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point on issues of public interest. The Star-Bulletin reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed, must include a mailing address and daytime telephone number.

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