Letter to the Editor: No Single Lesson of Sept. 11

By By Jeff Hullinger and By Jeff Hullinger

By Jeff Hullinger


In his Sept. 16 letter to the editor, “Attackers Are Not the Heroes”, Jonathan Richardson apparently wants to place limits on our ability to “learn lessons” about Sept. 11, and assume for everyone, that we should learn the “real lesson.”

I wonder what Richardson would think if he learned that many sons and daughters of the victims of the World Trade Center opposed the bombing of Afghanistan in which the “collateral damages” were innocent people who had nothing to do with Sept. 11.

I watched “Heroes of 9/11” on KUED, a documentary about the heroic achievements of New York City fire fighters and police, and among those interviewed were a son and daughter of a fire fighter who died on Sept. 11.

Prior to the bombing of Afghanistan, the fire fighter’s daughter said that she opposed the bombing of the country because she knew there would be a daughter there who would lose her father in the bombing.

Richardson would have me dismiss the daughter’s thoughts on the bombing of Afghanistan as irrelevant to the “real lesson” of Sept. 11.

Apparently, empathy is irrelevant to Richardson’s “real lesson,” and therefore if someone had written about empathy for the innocent so-called “collateral damage” (which is actually a group of human beings), I am quite certain I would not reach the lofty limits of what Richardson calls “the real lesson”of Sept. 11.

I don’t need a single “real lesson” with regard to Sept. 11. What I really need is a real discussion, or better yet, a productive discussion.

Richardson’s analogy of rapist sympathizers to describe the tolerance position supposedly advocated by U officials is poorly chosen and does not encourage discussion.

I seriously doubt the U’s administrators and staff were encouraging us to tolerate terrorists.

Richardson’s poorly chosen analogy attempts to cast those who discuss tolerance on the anniversary of Sept. 11 as terrorist sympathizers. How ludicrous!

I do not agree that we should set strict limits on mourning. If on Sept. 11, I think of the fire fighter’s daughter’s views on the post-Sept. 11 bombing of innocent Afghan people who are called “collateral damage”, will someone act as a thought policeman and direct me to the “real lesson” of Sept. 11?

Jeff Hullinger

Marriot Library Staff