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Valley doing its part

September 21, 2001

The people of the Imperial Valley deserve plaudits for the way they have responded to the crisis in America.

More and more as we drive around the Valley, we see the Stars and Stripes flying over people's homes, businesses, on their vehicles and on their chests. Valleyites are showing their faith in the country and their support for a government stung by the terrorist acts on the East Coast last week.

Imperial Valley residents also have shown their support through local fund-raising efforts. Businesses, government agencies, fire departments, police departments, service clubs and many more have launched efforts to raise money for those in need.

Individuals also have shown their desire to help by giving blood to aid victims of the Sept. 11 attacks. It is going to take a great deal of blood to heal the wounded and Imperial Valley residents have proven they understand that.

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Local people have shown while we may be on the other side of the nation we are linked as Americans and we will stand up for each other.

The people of the Valley also deserve kudos for mostly not giving in to the vigilante spirit we have seen in areas throughout the nation. We have a multicultural community in the Valley made up of people from all over the world. People of the Muslim faith have been attacked in some areas of the nation, as have people of the Sikh faith. We have had a few scattered incidents in the Valley and no one has been physically injured, but there is no excuse for such idiotic behavior even if no one is hurt.

It is sad that some ignorant people would seek vengeance on innocent people just because they may wear head covering, have an accent or look different in some other way. In the Imperial Valley we long have shown that we appreciate the cultures that make up our Valley and we hope that sentiment remains, no matter what happens in coming days and weeks.

Now more than ever we need to stand together and take a stand against terrorism. The Islamic faith is not a faith of terrorism. All religions call for peace and understanding, as does Islam. That some extremists warp religion and abuse it for their own twisted cause should not reflect on any faith. Let's face it. People of our own more prominent faiths in this county have been known to do just that.

Let's continue to stand together and hold dear one of the things that makes the Valley a great place — that we are a rich cultural mix of loyal Americans.

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