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Letters to the editor

Tuesday, October 02, 2001

Show your patriotism by buying American-made products

It is so wonderful to see all the signs of patriotism emerging from so many different groups and individuals. Many of our fathers and grandfathers fought in the battlefields and toiled in the factories to make our country the land of the free so that we, their descendants, could now enjoy all that this great country has to offer.

Now more than ever, it is time to do more than hang flags in our yards! It is time to put our money and buying decisions where our patriotism lies. Let's put the money back into our beautiful country and buy products that are the best in the world: "Made in the U.S.A." Break away from the perceived stereotype that, for some, equates success with driving around in a foreign car. Ford and General Motors make some of the finest vehicles produced; wouldn't one of their models be sufficient?

Motorola continues to excel in cellular technology; surely it has a model that meets or exceeds your needs. The United States of America produces the best steel, motorcycles, computers, wheelbarrows, tools. Think about patriotism. We can't always buy American-made products. But when we can make a conscious patriotic buying decision, shouldn't we all support our country?

JAMES K. McALLISTER
Upper St. Clair


Sustain this spirit

I've been reading in the newspaper about various functions such as sports events and live performances including in their programs the playing of the national anthem and "God Bless America," which may not have been done prior to the attack on America. We, as Americans, have been lax in our expression of patriotism in the past. I hope this terrible tragedy will instill in our hearts the desire to forever continue to express our patriotism.

ED OBUCHOWSKI
aldwin Borough


Adding to the pain

We are so proud that we live in the United States of America. Apparently, there are some who think that stealing American flags from people's yards is a joke. It's not funny. During the worst time that we can remember in the United States, someone has stolen our flags. We had between 15 and 20 small flags along the edge of our property and a large one on our garage, with a dusk-to-dawn light on it. Someone came in and stole them all.

They also stole some from the people up the street from us. The one family has a son who was in the Gulf war with the 14th Quartermaster Detachment and who was one of the injured in an Iraqi missile attack on the corps' barracks in Saudi Arabia. To have their flag taken, I'm sure, is very painful. Our question is: Why would anyone do this at a time when we are all hurting?

We do not fly our flag just because of the tragedy we suffered Sept. 11; we fly our flag every day and every night, and to have someone come and try to take our pride and our great respect for those who fought and died to keep us free is just plain sick. If these people could not afford a flag, all they had to do was ring our doorbell and we would have given them money to buy one. If whoever took our flags took them out of hate or mischief, that's sad and we pray for them.

PAUL and KATHY NINEHOUSER
Greensburg


Too much information

As a 57-year-young proud American, a 27-year member of the U.S. Army Reserve, a forensic dentist and someone who has never missed voting in an election, I take exception to what the media are telling us. I believe the American people are entitled to know certain things, but to give all the details about the military and what countries our forces have landed in is a little too much information.

Even Secretary of State Colin Powell has said too much on television. After all, we all know that Americans aren't the only ones listening.

ELAINE H. BERKOWITZ
Ross


A heartbreaking lesson

Whether a future terrorist attack could again occur in the United States via air transport or not, the issue of safety vs. free enterprise of this industry is what American citizens have an obligation to address immediately with their elected officials in Congress.

Only those Americans who have lived or traveled abroad know that other civilized countries have resolved this blatant conflict of consumer protection vs. profitability long ago by giving law enforcement authorities responsibility for air transport security and by maintaining a nationalized (in American terms, federal) or at least semi-public airline fleet.

In return, major accidents and catastrophes from maintenance lapses as well as from security breaches have been averted in those countries where airlines are not subject to the same profitability expectations.

Conveniently, the U.S. media and generations of Americans have forgotten that before "deregulation" of the U.S. airline industry not so long ago, we could trust that travel fares, as well as maintenance and security, were well under control. How soon we forget.

It is time that America transcend the admirable national pride and solidarity displayed in the last three weeks to truly honor the victims and heroes of Sept. 11 by acknowledging that lessons can be learned from other countries and systems. How tragic and heartbreaking that a discourse of revision must finally come at the expense of an unthinkable number of victims.

CARLA ROSEN VACHER
Downtown


Some basic know-how

While the airline pilots union seeks support from Congress to arm pilots and while armed federal marshals travel on domestic flights to augment the safety of the airlines and travelers, it might serve well if the air marshals were trained in how to maneuver an aircraft, or at least maintain midair communication with aviation officials.

They would not have to be licensed to pilot an aircraft, but they could at least have a basic knowledge of the cockpit instruments to "control" an aircraft if warranted. If not the air marshals, then perhaps similar training could be afforded to the crew (flight attendants) so at least someone would know how to assist in avoiding a disaster.

MADONNA A. SMITH
Mount Washington


Arm airline pilots

All airline pilots should have guns in shoulder holsters, same as Army and Navy pilots have. If they are going down, they might as well go down fighting.

CHARLES JONES
McKees Rocks


True friends

We're writing to express our appreciation for the people in Canada who so generously assisted the people on US Airways Flight 3 returning to the United States on Sept. 11. We were grounded in Gander, Newfoundland, at 1:30 p.m. on that day and then informed of the events that had taken place in New York, at the Pentagon and "outside of Pittsburgh."

We spent the next 23 hours locked on the plane until we could be safely cleared to leave the plane, and then we were transported to the Salvation Army in Lewisporte, 45 minutes away. The people of Lewisporte and the Salvation Army fed us three meals a day and provided countless blankets, toothbrushes and toiletries for the passengers on that flight. The elementary school next to the Salvation Army building canceled classes for its children to provide us with access to the much-needed shower stall and the computer classroom for us to e-mail home.

During that time when all of us were frantic to find out what had happened, make sure our loved ones were safe and contact those who would be missing us in the next few days, our hosts were endlessly cheerful, giving and kind. They dropped everything to cook for us and make us feel less isolated and abandoned during those five days of uncertainty.

When we finally received word of the plane's clearance for leaving, we said goodbye with bittersweet memories of a group of people of unlimited generosity. This experience will stay with us during this time and continue to remind us that we have more friends than enemies in this world, and we are grateful for the proximity to our country of some of them.

JOAN DEVINE-MILLER

ERIC and LARA MILLER
Squirrel Hill


Why so tall?

I have only one question: Why do architects have to design such high buildings as the World Trade Center? If these buildings didn't have to have more than 100 floors, maybe more lives could be saved in an emergency.

I also want to comment on the way President Bush is handling this crisis. I am behind him all the way.

MARY GRANKAUSKAS
McKees Rocks


We need both views

The recent spirit of bipartisanship in Congress is refreshing and calls to mind how we can learn from our progenitors. The Declaration of Independence is one of the most liberal documents ever written. The Constitution is one of the most conservative documents ever written.

We need both to build a country: one to get things started and the other to help maintain the structure.

JEFFREY B. MORGAN
Banksville


Catch terrorism suspects on camera at the nation's airports

The United States already has the technology to scan crowds with cameras to look for criminals in cities and crowded stadiums. It would be nice to see the country employ this same technology at every airport.

These computers should be programmed with a profile of every terrorist suspect in the world, and any time they catch a glimpse of these people they should put the airport on full alert.

DALE WAGNER
Harmony




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