Northwest NEWS

July 19, 1999


We need to concentrate on the value of our freedom

   This is an open invitation to the person responsible for detonating an explosive device in our residential U.S. mail box during the Independence Day holiday. The invitation is to consider the consequences of what you have done and to consider the possibility that your actions have been recorded (you have heard of infrared and low-light television?) so that anyone might see who has performed such an irresponsible act--an act that is in no way consistent with Independence Day.

   You may believe that you had fun, or that no one will find out, or that no one is going to create a fuss over the destruction of a mail box. If so, you are definitely wrong. You probably believe that there are no consequences for your actions, but I assure you they will appear at appropriate places in your future. There is no threat in this message, as I find no need whatsoever to return your action in kind, yet unlike the Christian martyrs, I don't plan on turning the other cheek.

   What I would much rather do is to concentrate on the values that Independence Day serves to recall for us. The values that allow us to enjoy freedom that is not shared by the entire world, to enjoy peace that is almost unknown in Kosovo, the Middle East, or any number of other places on this planet. And, yes, unfortunately, the values that allow some the freedom to be irresponsible and to use tools for celebration as a means of destroying another person's property.

   Before anyone out there says that I am crying over nothing, please take a moment to consider that I am not going to lose any sleep over this incident. If there is any sorrow at all, it should be for the individual who is going to wonder whether or not the picture of him placing an explosive in a mail box is going to appear in print.

   I sincerely hope that everyone else had an enjoyable holiday weekend. I know that we certainly did!

Ted Jardine, Woodinville