Volume 95, Issue 8

Thursday, September 13, 2001
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Editorial Board 2001-2002

We wait for answers

Editorial Cartoon

We wait for answers

The dust and fire in New York is beginning to settle. Police and emergency response officials are beginning to tally the dead. Citizens around the globe are lining up to offer their blood, money and any other donations needed.

But through all of this, we wait for answers.

During these moments of incredible tragedy, it is sometimes natural to place blame swiftly and without full knowledge of who is truly responsible. It is often easier to react with anger and revenge than it is to react with diligence and stoicism.

As a society, we have been inundated by conspiracy theorists and those driven by uneducated suspicions about who is responsible for this attack.

Despite this premature placing of blame, the communal voices of our campus, our nation and our world must wait in silence. We must all be patient and hold our tongues until responsibility for this heinous crime is claimed.

Moreover, we must practice great care when choosing the language we use to discuss these events within our classes, workplaces and homes. As of yet, there is no 'they.' Tuesday's terrorist attacks in New York, Washington and Shanksville, Pennsylvania were attacks on humanity and as such, they affect us all.

When the identities of those responsible become known, whether it is tomorrow, next week or next year, we must respond to the news with this same sense of calm and composure.

Six decades ago, in December 1941, the Japanese Empire attacked an American naval base located at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. That tragic attack, firmly imbedded into the minds of many as they consider the events of this past week, pushed the United States to enter World War II in Europe.

However, on this side of the Atlantic Ocean, blame for the attack on Pearl Harbor was also directed at citizens of Japanese descent. Our own Canadian government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Mackenzie King, interned as many as 800 Japanese-Canadians in camps located in Northern Ontario. Those men and women, as much Canadian as the next person, were punished for crimes they did not directly commit.

We cannot repeat the mistakes of history. We cannot find members of our community guilty by association.

Instead, we must build bridges of peace and understanding. We must work toward unity, not division. We must speak openly in opposition of violence against all people, everywhere. We must do all we can to help those in need and encourage those around us to focus their energies on helping the survivors and remembering the victims.

And finally, we must remain patient and silent, in our solidarity and our sorrow.

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Copyright The Gazette 2001