What has happened to our country after Sept. 11? Sure, the country rallied together after that terrorist attack, but we have lost our way. Our individual freedoms are being diminished daily [" 'No guarantees' against an attack," News, April 26].

The sad part is that our children will never know what it was like to go to an airport without subjecting oneself to scans, pat-downs and at times, an inquisition. I fear that in the name of security, we are getting closer to being a police state.

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First-responders should be respected, and individual heroism recognized, but they should not be honored above all other citizens.

I cringe when I see the police garbed in the latest of technology and ready to do battle on our streets. I cringe at the police with assault rifles in our subways, railroads and airports. I cringe at the thought of thousands of drones flying in our domestic airspace. I cringe at the federal government growing larger and gathering more information on each citizen. I cringe at the number of cameras monitoring all of our movements. I cringe at the ability of our government to monitor our movement in our personal cars by reading our license plates. And I wonder where we are headed for the sake of security.

It is time that we reflect on what type of society we want. I want to be left alone to work, enjoy my family and friends, and go about my life with less government intrusion. The only solution in this insane world is to absolutely close our borders and to allow access only to those individuals who have been properly vetted. Once someone is allowed in, he or she should be monitored and deported for the slightest transgression.

Additionally, the government should use its resources to monitor the Web and banking activity of suspected terrorists. Maybe someday I will be able to go to an airport and not have to take off my shoes and belt. We can only hope that domestic civility returns and we move away from the encroaching police state.

Craig Bruno, Islip