Don't let rage rule

September 17, 2001 12:00 am

Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001 began as just another day.

We all found out too soon that was not to be the case.

It was an invisible, unexpected assault on our security.

A sneak attack on civilians.

An ambush. A cowardly act, President Bush and many other politicians have said.

But our response has been as frustrated as it has been swift.

Investigators are even now piecing together the trail of evidence that will lead us to those responsible for these foul deeds and complicit in their execution.

Their punishment is all but assured.

But as fire appeared to rain down from the sky, we all stood powerless to stop what was happening, whether we were on the streets of New York or in our living room in New Bridge.

Policemen stood in Washington, D.C., with their guns drawn, pointed at the sky.

We stood in Baker City, teeth and fists clenched, no palpable enemy to strike.

Federal offices closed. Airports and weapons depots were put on high alert. Public safety officials stood at the ready.

In a fair fight when we know its coming America has no equal.

In a sneak attack, however, we find ourselves caught up in what if and what next?

We would like to join Gov. John Kitzhaber and other civic leaders in asking that the public not race to conclusions and make generalizations about any one ethnic or religious group or nationality.

Portland police are already stepping up patrols in neighborhoods with large Arab populations, standing at the ready to squelch any racially-motivated violence that could erupt.

Trust that justice will prevail.

The culprits will be found, and we should judge them as is our modern American ideal not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

And let that be the standard for us, too.

Soothe your anger by redoubling your efforts at home with your family, at work and in your community.

Show those who would tear America down that we can build her up twice as strong and that our might isnt just economic or military.

Our strength lies in our hearts, in our compassion for our fellow man, and in our sense of pride in our communities.

If we stand strong together, no amount of terror can bring us to our knees.