1993 photo of New York skyline from Brooklyn Bridge 

World Trade Center towers in background, 1993 image.

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This stopover in the city was during a train ride, back to the west coast, after my second bicycle trip across America.  World Trade towers added to the beautiful view.  Sad to see them destroyed, and the people killed, 8 years later.

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The pedestrian / bike path on Brooklyn Bridge.

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After 911

Even though my lifestyle is not what some people view as the typical American life, it is still part of the big kaleidoscope of American experience.  I also show a logo of the flag.  Though not perfect, this is a great country.  No one from the government has ever held a gun to my head and said I had to conform to another lifestyle.  Not everyone buys my way of thinking, but I have been able to live along side other lifestyles in peace. 

Some fear that the world may be headed into a World War 3.  I say that is an old way of thinking that even our leaders don't subscribe to.  There is no nation to defeat, in the old sense, that would solve the problem of terrorism.  Even George Bush, who I didn't vote for, talks about being patient and realizing that this is a long and protracted situation; so far at least.  We need to hope our leaders do the right things and work toward those ends. 

Rather than all out war, this seems more like a law enforcement issue.  Preventing the terrorist organizations from doing their harm and breaking up their evil organizations.  This attack was an ultimate "Hate Crime."

Terrorism is not brought on by the US, as some critics would contend.  It is not our "just due" for the way third world countries were treated.  Most third world people are kinder than that.  Instead it is hateful acts brought on by a handful of spoiled kids from families made rich by oil.  

Energy independence, in western nations, would help (I ride my bicycle), but much of the terrorism problem can be blamed on prejudice between different people's of the world.  Arabs hating jews; Jews not trusting arabs and so forth.  This can't all be blamed on any one nation.  The mindset of blaming is part of the problem.

In some ways, the US (as well as nations like Canada) are models for multiculturalism.  

A good question for peace advocates to ask

How long must the war go on?

I am critical of peace activists who don't want any military response to the September 11 crimes, but questioning is important.  It will become especially important after Bin Laden, and many terrorists, get put out of commission. 

One needs to ask, how long must the war go on?  There may be a "law of diminishing returns" to war.  Taking some action to reduce the threat of terrorism is good, but it is impossible to absolutely reduce that threat to zero.  The threat can be reduced significantly, but attempting to reach the perfection of zero is a daunting task. 

In this new kind of war on terror, when can one declare victory?  The thought of a war with out end is problematic. 

Surely there will always need to be improvements in security, but how long does a state of war have to preoccupy the American consciousness?  When does it reach its law of diminishing returns?  How many financial resources need to be consumed leading to the possibility that other threats get neglected? 

Each year, thousands more people die on America's highways than in the Sept. 11 attacks.  Car accidents and road safety is  one of many threats, besides terrorism, to our safety.  If we are at war, can we afford to fix a deadly curve on the highway?

It doesn't do much good for the peace movement to beet its head against the brick wall of public opinion by calling for little, or no response to the terrorist attacks. 

On the other hand, lots more people are likely to join peace advocates after many of the terrorist networks have been put out of business.  When people start feeling safer again, they will ask, "how much war effort do we need?"

Pictures from my second bike tour across USA