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LEST WE FORGET
A TRIBUTE TO MY DADDY AND ALL VETERANS
Josef Maria van Duinhoven
Jopie
January 26, 1920 - June 2, 1976
56 years



2004 - A New Year has begun

Since the beginning of 2003 two wars were begun.

The first began in Afghanistan with the intention to capture Ossam Bin Landen and stop his supporters from ever launching another attack. He was responsible for the deaths on September 11th.
Ossam was never captured, many of his supporters were killed, and others captured. In addition to Ossam's supporters the ruling party, the Taliban, were overthrown. Troops from many countries are still stationed in Afghanistan.
The war in Afghanistan was and still is supported by many different countries although I'm sure the families of the soldier's stationed there wish it was over so their loved ones can come home.

Then came the war against Iraq. This war, which is still going on in isolated pockets all over the country, originally started because the leader Saddam Hussein was supposed to have weapons of mass destruction. U.S. Present George W. Bush decided to launch a pre-emptive strike, by means of war, in Iraq eventhough the United Nations and other countries did not agree that starting a war was the way to go.
To date no weapons of mass disaster have been found, but recently Saddam Hussein has been captured.
This war has caused many problems between countries - even people living in the same country, and was not sanctioned by the United Nations. There is a still a great deal of rancor and discord regarding this war.

Now here we are in 2004. Soldier's are still being killed in Iraq by Hussein followers and so far no weapons of mass destruction have been found. Afghanistan is a bit more peaceful but still have a ways to go yet.
The United States, the country itself as well as American embassies in other countries, are still living in fear of another terrorist attack. Christmas and New Year's saw the country at the Orange Level Alert; flights from other countries into the U.S. were held back because it was believed they were going to be the victim's of a terrorist take over; anyone wanting to enter the country visit, Canadians who work in the United States but live in Canada or go to school in the United States, now need to obtain special permits to enter the U.S.

So far this year is not off to a very good start, and it doesn't look like it will be improving any time soon. Needless to say I have my own views in regards to Afghanistan and Iraq but voicing them is a moot point, what needs to be voiced is the worry and fear for all the soldier that are still facing battle in these countries, the soldiers that will be sent as either replacements or new, fresh soldiers, and tears for the families of those whose first contact with their loved one is the removable of the coffin off the plane.
Always remember that this is their job, their calling, and their life literally and figuratively. They can't say 'No I won't do that', 'I'm not going' or 'I quit. When they became part of the military they lost many freedoms that we 'civilians' enjoy such as quitting a job we aren't happy with, or refusing to do a job that is dangerous. They lost their freedom so we could have ours! Next time you start to condemn the soldiers who are stationed in those countries, DON'T! These men and women are doing their job, following the orders of their bosses, who follow the orders from their boss all the way to the leader of the country so go after the bosses they are ones who have sent the soldiers off to war.

2003
A new year has begun but it is one of fear, uncertainty and a very real possibility of war - a war that could easily escalate and spread beyond the borders in which it is intended. All we can do now is watch and wait, and for those that pray, to pray that the conflict is resolved without the need to exchange weapon fire and bring death to so many. I am not afraid to admit I am terrified of what this new year may bring. I can only imagine what war is like for those that lived and fought in one, like my daddy, and what I imagine is something soldiers and veterans have fought, and for many died, for so that I wouldn't have to experience war first hand.

This war could involve the use of biological and chemcial weapons, not just gunpowder and bullets, that kills indiscriminately, knows no boundaries, can't tell the difference between a newborn child and an armed soldier. This is the type of war we prayed we would never have to fight. Let's end 2002 and start 2003 with a prayer that we never have to live through a war based on biological and chemical weapons, and that should war be unavoidable that thse biological and chemical agents are neutralized before they ever leave their container.

So today, the first day of the first month of the year 2003, I ask all those which have the power to start a war to please, please, put aside ego and pride, to think very deeply and look into their hearts, before the final, irrevocable step of a war is taken.

I understand that there are times when war is the only choice to be made, it is the "right" decision, at least as far as having a war can be "right", and when that is the case we all need to back our government who made the decision, put on a brave face as those we love place their lives in the hands of the person next to them as they face the very real possibility of death, and do whatever is needed at home to help our soldiers and our country get through this horrible time. All I ask is that the people who have to make that decision do so because it is the ONLY and RIGHT decision.

If you'd prefer to skip directly to the index of links listing the other pages on my site at the bottom of this page instead of reading the full page click on the link below. I would appreciate it though if you would read the rest of this page but I know sometimes there just isn't time. Thank you for your interest, and please take a second to Sign My Guestbook. Thanks --- Maria Sutherland (nee van Duinhoven)

Index of Links

NEW YORK AND WASHINGTON
SEPTEMBER 11, 2001
Terror in the U.S.A.

First and foremost I want to say that my heart goes out to everyone affected by this horrible event - the victims, their friends and families, the on-site witnesses, and all those who took on the devastating job of going through the rubble.

On September 11th an event that was never expected to happen occured in the United States, the destruction of the twin towers of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon in Washington and four planes carrying passengers, who are now memories in the hearts of those who knew them, by terrorists.

We in the United States and Canada have always believed we were safe from anything like this, after all the First World War never reached our shores at all, and in the Second World War Pearl Harbor was the one and only target and because it was ships there was really no clean-up or going through rubble looking for survivors and the remains of those who didn't survive. The hijacking and it's results brought to the New York and Washington areas what destruction truly is.

For the majority of us the destruction doesn't seem real because we just can't believe that something like this would happen in the United States, it's always been something that's happened 'Over There' and those of us who did not experience it in person have a difficult time accepting that this is real and not just a movie on TV. It is so easy to do this because we only experience it with our eyes and have the luxury of changing the channel or turning off the TV, but for the people who are there it is very, very real because it touches all their senses and you can't change the channel.

There is a group of people who don't have to live in or near New York and Washington to truly understand the impact of what has happened - the veterans, especially those from WWII who went through whole cities that were nothing more than a pile of rubble, smelled the smells of destruction, saw the bodies and the remains of what were at one time the residents of the town. They have experienced war and all that it entails.

Today we stand at a point where we face a war, and while this war is suppose to be against terrorists only, no war can only capture/kill the enemies or destroy only where the enemy can be found. Innocent people will die, some quickly and some a slow, lingering horrible death because that is a part of war. There is a very strong possibility that the war on terrorists will turn into a full-fledged World War but this time there will be no rules of conduct, Geneva convention rules for the treating of POWs, and weapons that only destroy small areas. We must realize that any full-fledged war that we have now will, in all probability, see the use of Biological, Chemical and Nuclear weapons, weapons that will change the world forever.

It is normal that a government want to avenge and get justice for the death of their people and the destruction of their buildings, and in this case to go after the terrorists responsible for what happened, especially the leader. It is necessary to prove to these people that we won't sit back and do nothing about it because, like a bully, if you don't stand up to them they'll just get bolder, more vicious and continue to go after you, but we have to think with our heads, not our hearts and/or pride. These opponents are unlike any we have dealt with in the past, they have been raised since birth to hate, they make no distinctions between innocent civilians and soldiers, taking prisoners is not an option, and they gladly die to achieve their goal because that is the ultimate service to their God. To them these acts of violence and terrorism are in honour of their God, and they have said outright that they consider any military action against them the start of a Holy War. How do we get the justice so rightly deserved and stop the terrorism - I don't know but those in power have to find some way to accomplish this without starting WWIII or the devastation and death suffered in New York and Washington will be small and inconsequential.

The "TERROR" of TERRORISM
The Terror of Terrorism comes not from the actual physical act that started the terrorism but the way that act has affected people emotionally and mentally. While there is absolutely no question that the acts perpetrated on the United States on September 11th, and now in Florida with the verified cases of genetically-modified anthrax, those acts are not what is and will keep that country, as well as the rest of the world, in the grips of the terrorist. It is the reaction of fear, the TERROR, that those acts made people feel that will allow the terrorists to win this battle.
Yes, the terror is an absolutely normal response to what has happened, but it allows that terror to keep it's grip in the mind that can destroy a country through damaging it's economy and thus taking it every closer to a depression. Once the initial physical act has been accomplished all that is necessary for the terrorists to do is verbally threaten another attack and they can ignite the same terror as that first time.
That has already started to happen all you have to look at is the great loses the air industry has taken as people are too terrified to fly just in case there is another hijacking and this time it is their plane, but it doesn't end there, all the businesses related to tourism now suffer for lack of patrons. The anthrax in Florida has now instilled the horrible fear of bio-terrorism so anyone that receives what they believe is a suspicious envelope calls the police which ends up requiring the business to be completely evacuated, a Hazardous Material team to be brought in, the building to be totally checked as well as the contents of the envelope (or in one case a Christmas ornament that broke and released a white-powdery substance) tested to find out if is indeed a bioweapon and whatever other steps must be taken before the building is considered clear, and sometimes the people that came in contact with the envelope to be taken by ambulance to hospital and completely checked over. Imagine what that would do to a country's economy if every major business received a suspicious envelope at the same time and then for 2 or 3 days in a row! All it would take now would be an envelope with laundry soap or talcum powder to set off the terror and panic all over again.
Total Chaos. That is what terrorism is all about, once that total fear and terror is instilled into the hearts and minds of people the terrorists no longer have to do anything, just sit and wait for the collapse.
Terror is a terrible and powerful thing.
While it is extremely important to be cautious and aware of things, we can't let that terror take hold inside of us if we do we give the terrorists power over us and if it continues for too long with too many people then we, not the terrorists, will defeat ourselves and that we can NEVER allow to happen!
You can take the TERROR out of TERRORISM by educating yourself on things like anthrax - what it looks like, what are the difference ways you can become infected, what are the symptoms etc.; and keep your eyes and ears open and yes be cautious, sensible and careful. It won't be easy but we all have to draw on the inner strength we possess not to allow the terror to overwhelm us and do the terrorists job for them. WE CAN WIN THIS BATTLE.


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All content including but not limited to photographs and information pertaining to Josef M. van Duinhoven, stories, poetry and introduction dialogues were written by Maria Sutherland and are the property of Maria Sutherland. All other content is credited to the owner and I have their express permission to use it on my site. If you wish to use or copy any of the information PLEASE E-mail ME first. Thank you.


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