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Letters: Reflections on 9/11, 18 years later

Reader letters to Newsday for Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019

Memorial Service was held for those killed in

Memorial Service was held for those killed in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 at the 9/11 Memorial at Town Park Point Lookout in Lido Beach on Sept. 11, 2019 Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

Newsday’s coverage of the brave actions of some of our 9/11 heroes was important. We must never forget their sacrifices. Similarly, we must enable new generations to fully understand what happened in Manhattan, Washington and Pennsylvania. Many young adults in our armed forces, in college, in the ranks of first responders, and many of our first-time voters were not alive in 2001 and have no memory of the events.

Newsday’s 9/11 stories referred to “the terrorist attacks” or “al-Qaida hijackers” [“President speaks at Pentagon,” News, Sept. 12]. But by omitting the full narration of the events, and by not naming those responsible, we distort the historical record for those who are unaware. We have never shielded students from the fact that Pearl Harbor was attacked by Japan, that World War II began with Germany’s invasion of Poland, that we fought the Viet Cong, etc. Why then, do we refrain from mentioning that the 9/11 attackers were Islamic militants, most of them from Saudi Arabia? Historical context doesn’t necessarily reflect on the current international situation.

Eighteen years ago we vowed never to forget, yet today we seem to carefully omit what must never be forgotten.

Allan E. Mallenbaum,

Plainview

There is a new superhero, Nicholas Haros Jr.

At the 9/11 anniversary ceremonies at Ground Zero, he displayed the gall and the guts to call out a congresswoman, Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, for her inappropriate comments about the 9/11 attacks on our country [“Son of 9/11 victim criticizes Rep. Omar,” News, Sept. 12]. One time, she described the 9/11 attacks by saying, “Some people did something.” She later apologized.

For too long, many of our elected representatives have been reluctant, or have refused, to name al-Qaida, the group responsible for that dastardly attack on our nation and our ideals. Not so for Haros, whose mother died at the World Trade Center.

Bob Kersch,

Great River

Eighteen years ago, the United States saw evil. Today, we remember those lost on 9/11, but we also should consider what we can do to prevent similar tragedies.

A national security strategy issued by the Bush administration a year after 9/11 said “poverty does not make poor people into terrorists and murderers. Yet poverty, weak institutions, and corruption can make weak states vulnerable to terrorist networks within their borders.”

The United States must maintain relations internationally. Before he became secretary of defense, Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis told members of Congress in 2013, “If you don’t fund the State Department fully, then I need to buy more ammunition.”

Providing foreign aid to weak regions can be a vital part of enhancing U.S. national security. President Donald Trump has called foreign aid wasteful. His attempt to cut billions of dollars in foreign aid was stopped in August, but it is possible that he will try again.

Yangcheng Zhou,

Long Island City

Editor’s note: The writer represents the Borgen Project, a nonprofit organization that fights global poverty.

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