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Who we were on 9/11, $375 checks, Afghanistan war

People make rubbings of the names of the

People make rubbings of the names of the victims of the 9/11 attacks and in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing that are inscribed along the memorial pools at the National 9/11 Memorial on September 11, 2021 in New York City.  Credit: Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla

Let’s remember who we were on 9/11

On Sept. 11, 2001, we were a different country — wounded, but undivided; scarred, but undeterred; enraged, but not going at one another ["A sad and somber day of remembrance," News, Sept. 12]. The America that rallied and unified in the wake of the terror attacks seems as vanished now as the Twin Towers themselves.

We were a nation of neighbors, as though the dust thrust up from a burning New York City had cleared to reveal an even greater republic. We huddled together under the smoke blowing up from the  pit, then reached to lift one another to higher ground. We bolstered one another with whatever words we could find .

We rose up as one to retaliate — and struck out across the world with a single fist. We were more than a superpower, more than an aggrieved people. We were these United States.

I want to believe that we can be that country — those people — again. That is why now, fully two decades later, I will picture who we were. And I will tell myself, never forget.

— Eric Robert Nolan, Ridge

As I watched the 9/11 ceremonies on television, I also was reading Dan Martinsen’s Expressway essay, "What we owe those lost" [Opinion, Sept. 11]. It is powerful and brings back the memories of that horrible day for any New Yorker.

So here we are now, 20 years later, and are we any better? I like to believe we are and that maybe kindness is something Americans can use in our lives every day.

— Kathleen M. Clark, Westbury 

I can think of no better way to honor and cherish the memories of those lost to us on 9/11 than to be the America they inspired and filled with purpose and resolve on that terrible day.

— Ed Weinert, Melville

Yes, $375 is peanuts compared with taxes

A reader claimed that Bruce Blakeman, the Republican challenging Nassau County Executive Laura Curran in November, was off-base in calling her proposed one-time payment of $375 "peanuts" ["To many residents, $375 isn’t ‘peanuts,’ " Letters, Sept. 1]. Has the reader checked her homeowner’s taxes since Curran imposed her reassessment plan three years ago?

  My neighbors and I have incurred thousands of dollars in tax increases and are worried we may be forced to sell our beloved homes. The $375 is indeed "peanuts" and, to me, nothing more than a ploy to get votes. A one-time payment of $375 is like putting a Band-Aid on a gaping wound. Blakeman, a Hempstead Town councilman, has proposed lowering taxes across the board. That should have been Curran’s goal three years ago and should be her current proposal.

— Angelo Vetrano, Floral Park

Nassau Republicans continue to take positions that negatively affect community residents. They are practically alone in their opposition to the $375 payment to homeowners using federal pandemic aid funds ["Blakeman ad attacks Curran payment plan," Letters, Aug. 25]. And they continue to oppose County Executive Laura Curran’s assessment rollout, which seeks to return fairness to the county assessment structure that the Republicans broke  10 years ago.

I have lived on Long Island for 36 years and have never voted for a Democrat, but this year is going to be different. The Republicans need to decide whether they are working for the residents . . . or themselves.

— Frank Caruso, Levittown

Biden deserves thanks for ending war

Was our withdrawal from Afghanistan messy? Yes. Disappointing to some? Definitely. Necessary? Extremely.

  America now awakens with no fighting forces in Afghanistan ["Biden stands by pulling out of Afghanistan," News, Sept. 1]. No American soldiers will die there today. Three presidents failed to end this war. President Joe Biden did it. He made the decision and acted decisively. For this, a thank you is deserved .

— Bruce Madonna, Mount Sinai

I listened to a retired general on television bemoan the use of the term "boots on the ground" to describe troop deployment. I wholeheartedly agree; the whole soldier is on the ground — along with his family ties and friendships.

Another term I strongly object to is "Afghan army." The use of the word "army" to describe that group of U.S.-trained and supplied individuals does a disservice to anyone who has served in any army at any time. The deplorable manner in which that propped-up security force melted away when confronted by Taliban soldiers should be written down in history as a shameful Afghan failure of courage rather than any failure of   U.S. foreign policy.

— Jim Incorvaia, Hicksville

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