Wednesday, Novemeber 28, 2001 Volume 67, Issue 67



End-of-semester reflections shared

Matthew Caster

It seems like just yesterday I was composing my column for the first day of class, and here it is the end of the semester already. So much has changed
since then. Coming into this semester, I intended to focus my writing on brilliant conservative rhetoric that I hoped would turn this into a campus of
Republican voters.

Just as I was getting ready to bust headlong into my best Rush Limbaugh impression, a group of Islamic fundamentalists decided it would be fun to
hijack a couple of jets and fly them into our most symbolic buildings, killing thousands.

Those monsters changed everything that warm, sunny day in mid-September. I remember standing in front of my television watching the second tower
crumble to the ground. Right then and there, through the throbbing ache in my heart for the victims and their families, I came to the realization that a
change in plans was necessary. Democrat or Republican, black or white, Christian or Muslim None of that meant sheep-dip anymore. 

All that seemed to matter was that I was an American, and much like the sleeping giant that awakened all across the nation after that tragic day, I felt as
though I was called upon to defend the American Spirit.

Since that day, I've received all sorts of e-mail from many of you. Some of you praised me for my nationalism, and told me that my articles were hitting
the nail right on the head. Others called my version of patriotism childish, or called me a racist.

However, no one can argue the heroism and sacrifice of the thousands who perished on Sept. 11. No one can help but be moved by the brave
firefighters, police officers and rescue workers, who continue even now to sift through the rubble in southern Manhattan, looking to bring peace of mind
to the victims' families. And no matter what your personal view on the war against terrorism, I sincerely hope all of you can see the sacrifices of the
brave young men and women who have endeavored to stand between their loved homes and the war's desolation.

Last weekend was the most special Thanksgiving in my memory, as I had so much more to be thankful for than I ever have before. I was thankful that I
lived in a great nation with a strong, determined leader who would not bend in the face of these atrocities. I was thankful that our nation, even after
fulfilling the economic and diplomatic needs of the entire world, still had enough resources, enough generosity and enough resolve to rise from this
tragedy stronger than ever before.

Although the current outlook of the war, both at home and abroad, seems to bode well for us, this battle is far from over. There can be no quick solution.
We must fight this war to completion on all fronts, and against all those who condone, abet or commit terrorist acts, so that one day our children and
grandchildren can live in a world devoid of the savage shadow of terrorism. 

So as the semester draws to a close, I wish each and every one of you good luck on your finals, as well as a happy and safe winter break. Until next

time, my friends, may God bless America!

Caster, a junior chemical engineering 
major, can be reached at

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