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Then: Community leader Marti wanted unity
Most of the world grieves with the U.S....May I urge you all to think of yourselves as members of the global community? Many of the victims of this tragedy were foreign nationals...some in the office buildings, some as tourists on the streets or in the buildings and hotels, some on the planes. Many people abroad lost friends and relatives in this as well, and almost all of us have lost our sense of safety anywhere in the world. We in this country are not alone in our grieving and suffering.
While I am almost always proud to be an American, I also hope we can move toward being a one world/one people kind of thinking. The suffering from this disaster exceeds any political entity or any borders. I sincerely thank those around the world who are rushing to add their prayers, thoughts, aid and assistance in this time of tragic loss for so many. We are truly all in this together.
Now: There have been too many deaths since 9/11
Ten years ago a tragic and horrific event took place that left me and most of the world stunned and shocked by its violence and loss of life. I still cannot look at film of the trade center without shuddering and feeling intense sadness.
Since then, we have been engaged in two wars to avenge the horror. Nearly 3,000 people died in the attacks on 9/11. More than 2,583 coalition members have died in Afghanistan and 8,587 Afghan troops; 8,813 civilians also died. In Iraq, 4,474 American deaths are reported, 381 coalition soldiers and over 100,000 military personnel were wounded. In addition 10,000 Iraqi civilians died. I cite these figures to show the terrible toll 9/11 has taken on the world.
In the initial days, the world seemed to gather together to mourn the cruel deaths from terrorism. Then, many countries gathered to seek revenge. As a result, thousands of people have died or been wounded and many countries have restricted human rights in the name of preventing more terrorist acts.
This is obviously not what I hoped would happen, although I understand that the perpetrators had to be caught and prevented from further incidences of senseless killing. However, now -- along with my mourning of those who were lost that fateful September -- I add deep regret and sorrow for the innocent men, women and children from both sides caught in the middle.
Instead of bringing the majority of the world closer, riots and protests have divided countries. Arabic and Muslim peoples in the U.S. have been persecuted and the average American of any race has had restrictions put upon them for travel and other activities. Our national reputation and our credibility have suffered. I am saddened and alarmed by this. This one event has indeed changed the world, but not for the better I fear.