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  • New York

    Dear Friends and Loved Ones,

    I am not a person prone to sentimentality or maudlin emotion, nor do I practice flag - waving patriotism. Rather, I prefer introspection and patriotism through service. I am not America right or wrong, but when wrong, America can be bettered.

    . I have served in the Austin, Texas Fire Department for over sixteen years, and have seen the best and worst of human acts. My work-mates, whether or not we see eye to eye on issues of the day or enjoy each others company in the station, to the last man and woman are all willing to serve family, community, and country to whatever point necessary. I am honored and proud to serve with them all. Every firefighter in Austin, and in the world, stands shoulder to shoulder with the spirit of every firefighter in New York who walked into the maelstrom of destruction that day. They stand in love and service to our fellow man and woman, be they Christian, Moslem, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, Atheist or -istless. They would have rescued the very perpetrators of this horror without thought as to guilt or innocence.

    I am disturbed and scared by the hawks of war soaring overhead, and the implications for world stability as their dark shadows make both predator and prey run for cover. Sincere concern, sorrow, and anger are so easily turned to manipulation and propaganda that quickly opened is the gate to the path that only yields more tragedy from tragedy. May Pandora shut tightly her lockbox once more.

    We all are deeply saddened by the murderous tragedy of last week.

    My most sincere prayers are that the world may find a way to prevent anything even remotely like this from happening ever again, even to one person. Those who took part in the conceptualization, planning, financing, and execution of this terrible action MUST be prevented from doing so again, and may justice and the swift and terrible vengeance of God and man be truly served. The families and friends of those whom will never again hug nor kiss nor offer a lap to a child nor work nor eat rocky road ice cream on a hot summer day and feel that drop of sweat of the tip of the nose deserve no less.

    However, for me I cannot in good conscience feel that justice and vengeance can be served if one innocent sparrow falls to the talons of that hawk, or if one hair on the head of an innocent person is sacrificed in the pursuit of this justice. The question is how many other families must suffer the same fate in the pursuit of justice and vengeance? Evil must not beget evil.

    Please, my country and our military, law enforcement and legal systems must maintain the standard of freedom and justice hoped for by my father, James Borg, as he stood on the deck of the USS Missouri so many Septembers ago and watched bringers of war sign a surrender that brought WWII to a close. People convinced that glory, religion and power justified the shedding of blood. It does not. A war where the innocent that paid the price for the guilty were too numerous for man to count. We must not fight, we cannot afford such a war again. Nor just is the shedding of innocent blood in the pursuit of that justice, that vengeance.

    I did not support the current President during the election. I still would not vote for him. But I pray that if there truly is a God that can influence and inspire man and woman to do right and be an instrument of heavenly justice on earth, then may our President now receive that inspiration. The weight of evil burdens his shoulders with an almost impossible task. But this task is not impossible. He can work this dread task without the corruption of tragedy in answer to tragedy. How can we honor the people who sacrificed their lives to save the innocent by sacrificing the innocent?

    For America to stop being an object of perverse hatred in the world, the focus of wrath of those deluded that evil is a good when they can see no good in the world, then we must as a people show that justice and vengeance can be obtained with compassion, without hatred, and without doing to others as they have done to us. Only then can the ground in which their bodies lay can be hallowed, honored and consecrated. Only then can the innocent souls of those lost that day, and the spirit of the firefighters that sacrificed their next chance to tuck their child into bed at night, rest in peace.

    With sadness,

    Mikel Borg
    1 512 288 8249 14010 North Green Hills Loop, Austin Texas 78737 [email protected]

    P.S. This letter is inspired by an article I read today by Dennis Smith, Editor of Firehouse magazine. The article, dealing with his experiences on September 11th, can be found at www.iaffonline.org. Please read it. It is the best reporting of the days tragic events that I have read.

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