imkittymyers at hotmail dot com
Thursday, February 24, 2005
POISON PEN LETTERS ANTIDOTE
A FIELD TRIP FOR POISON PENS
By Arnold Ahlert
I HAVE a suggestion for those letter-writing Park Slope students: It's time for a class trip — to the city medical examiner's office.
That office has come to an end in its effort to identify any more remains of the World Trade Center victims. The excruciating 39-month effort ground to a halt after 1,588 victims of the attack on the World Trade Center had been identified. Another 1,161 victims never will be, denying their families that closure.
Maybe the kids could view the 10,000 bone and tissue fragments that remain unidentified — each a piece of some unfortunate New Yorker who got a "death sentence" for the "crime" of showing up to work on time. Perhaps some of the self-righteousness that permeates much of Park Slope — so near to where the towers once stood — might be tempered by the flesh-and-bone of reality.
Perhaps the smugness that assumes our effort to change the Middle East is completely misguided might be chastened by the sight of so much death, so close at hand. Perhaps history — especially the in-your-face kind — is the best teacher.