To the editor:

I have read with great interest the articles in Working Waterfront decrying the invasion of tourists, people from away, whatever category we are lumped into, and I would like to add a few comments.

I live 10 blocks from the former World Trade towers; saw the people jumping from the 103rd floor, cried, as I still do, when I walked past my neighborhood firehouse. I don’t need to go into the details of life in New York after 9/11, but if there is one thing learned by all of us New Yorkers who lived through it, it is simply this: all humans are as one. 9/11 taught us that we all share the same humanity. People died that day who were Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Hindu, Zoroastrian, atheist, agnostic, Shinto, Buddhist, whatever. Many were “immigrants.” Many were natives of New York or from all over the country. But the point is this, and it may seem like a stretch, although I don’t really believe that it is: the people who committed this diabolical act wanted revenge. Apparently, they lumped all Americans, not just government policies, as one. We then in turn, bombed innocent people in Afghanistan, who have nothing to do with Mohammed Atta or Al Quaeda, But we say, we had to do something, so we lumped everyone into the same category: Islamic country, must be terrorists there. For the actions of some criminals, everyone must pay, or guilt by association. And now we have repeated this action in Iraq, killing innocents for revenge against Saddam Hussein and our outrage over 9/11. I do not intend to provoke people to think and examine their attitudes. It is dangerous to look at the other and say, “I am not him and he is not me.” “I am good and he is bad,” or, “either you are with us or against us.” Well, I digress.

Let every human being be judged by his individual conduct and the content of his character, not where he comes from, nor by the religion he follows, nor the clothes he wears or the tone of his complexion, or whether he is “from away” or not. There is no “from away,” it is nothing more than a state of mind. Once we all realize that, and our common humanity with all its vices and virtues, there will be no more conflict.

I love Maine and the people here. I treat the island with respect and I respect its citizens in the same way that I respect the denizens of Manhattan. I invite anyone to our island down there, to experience what we have to offer.

Carolyn Wells

Longtime Vinalhaven visitor and Manhattan resident