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Sept. 11 brings back memories, strengths

Ten days ago today our country was changed forever and America’s innocence was lost in the global terrorist world. Much has been said and written since, but I would like to add two thoughts that have not been widely discussed, at least to my knowledge. First, I believe that my experience in the military helped me as confusing events unfolded last Tuesday morning. In the Navy we were drilled for emergencies on a regular basis; it was called “general quarters” or “condition one alpha” and every sailor knew were to go and what to do when the alarm sounded. Through this training one learns military discipline, how to deal with confusion and concentrate on the task at hand. And this training says with you for life. Perhaps Americans should consider implementing universal service, say a one or two year hitch in the armed forces upon completion of high school. Second, the image of citizens running for their lives as the buildings burned and later collapsed underscores the need to stay fit. We are talking raw survival here and it only makes sense that each of us accept that personal fitness is our responsibility and no one can do it for us. Finally, I would like my fellow citizens to know just how proud I am of the patriotism you are showing! Sometimes it takes a catastrophic wake up call to make us appreciate how good we have it. Gary M. Goodman Prineville