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Letter to the Editor on "One Year Later: The Impact and Aftermath of September 11"

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November 28, 2005
in response to topic One Year Later: The Impact and Aftermath of September 11

Dear Editor:

I write in response to the topic of "One Year Later: The Impact and Aftermath of September 11." I happen to be one of the nurses who responded to the World Trace Center terrorism event. I've also responded to many other tragic events. The sadness that overwhelms our society regarding the loss of lives during these events is commendable. Yet so often after these events, the deaths are quickly forgotten and the causes of the events are ignored and/or the events are responded to in a violent manner. If we are to truly "treat" these tragic events, we need to recognize the root cause of the events and address conditions, such as poverty and lack of personal freedoms, which give rise to them. And, in so doing, we need to show respect and tolerance for all fellow human beings even if they live differently than we do. Rather than responding to terrorism with violence, we can respond with assistance and tolerance.

I presently teach disaster preparedness to community nurses, emphasizing the importance of managing our own responses to these events by offering assistance and respect. I believe an important role of all health care professionals is to educate others to control their responses to those behaviors which we might find offensive by providing assistance and showing tolerance, rather than by responding with violence. We health care professionals need to lead by example not by providing more violence. We need to teach both how to prepare for disasters and how to respond to them with tolerance and patience. Terrorism will not go away, and we cannot eliminate the carnage of terrorism; we can control our responses to terrorism. Thanks for allowing me to comment.

Laura Terriquez-Kasey RN, MS, CEN
Clinical Lecturer, Decker School of Nursing
Binghamton University, SUNY
Binghamton, New York