Volume 95, Issue 7

Wednesday, September 12, 2001
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Editorial Board 2001-2002

Pray for peace

Editorial Cartoon

Pray for peace

Moments of great trauma and tragedy often give rise to great bursts of hyperbole and dramatics. But no words can overstate the events of the past day.

Our generation has oft been criticized for its lack of direct war experience. Unlike our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents, we have, for the most part, been untouched by the horrors of large-scale war and tragedy.

The events of the past 24 hours have shattered that innocence and peace.

The apparent suicide bombings of New York and Washington (a fourth airplane crash in Pittsburgh remains under investigation) were the first time our generation of North Americans have experienced the large-scale violence of global conflict on native soil.

Not since Pearl Harbour has America been shocked and shaken by the terrors of an attack on their homeland. But never before has the attack been so vast, so violent, so disturbing and so deadly.

Accordingly, the magnitude of the attack will forever change the way North America views itself and the world which surrounds it.

The next few days will bring a flurry of suspicion, fear, sadness and rumour. As the chaos gradually calms, the full impact and horror of what we have all watched, witnessed and experienced will become painfully clear.

Beyond such reactions, the future appears foreboding. It would seem we are standing on the precipice of a horrifying unknown. The threat of war, long absent from our contented minds, has been replaced by the threat of devastating terrorism.

This new threat endangers all peoples – regardless of origin, race, colour, creed or socio-economic standing. If the "great empire" of America can be struck so violently, no country and no individual can be considered safe.

Such a future is, undoubtedly, disturbing and frightening. But we must not let fear dictate our actions.

Retribution and counter-action in response to Tuesday's tragic events are inevitable. We must sincerely hope our leaders will show calm and measured leadership during these difficult times. Those with their fingers on the trigger must show the forethought necessary to understand the vast ramifications of any action.

Here at home, we must not let passion, anger and fear motivate us to irrational action.

The University of Western Ontario must not become a battleground in what could soon be classified as a war. We must strive to maintain this institution's standards of respect, freedom and safety for all people who walk this campus.

In the meantime, let us use these moments of tragedy for reflection and perspective. Let these events provide you an understanding of the fragility of life and vulnerability of all we hold secure. Talk to your families, your friends and your loved ones.

And finally, pray for peace and serenity during these troubled times.

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Copyright The Gazette 2001