Often on Dec. 7, readers send letters scolding the paper for not including an acknowledgment of that date's significance: the 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor. If emotions are stirred over that infamous day more than 70 years ago, imagine how raw wounds are 12 years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
There weren't that many letters sent to us on the 9/11 anniversary this week; rather, what was notable about them was their visceral emotion, the palpable sadness and anger they conveyed. Some readers penned solemn eulogies, while others lamented the actions America took in the years following the attacks. A few criticized The Times' coverage on Wednesday. Below are several letters reflecting that mix.
-- Paul Thornton, letters editor
Paul Shubunka of Santa Clarita addresses his letter to "those who want to hurt us":
"You sucker-punched us that day. What did you accomplish by flying those airplanes into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and rural Pennsylvania?
"You did not diminish our courage, our strength, our resolve or our belief in ourselves. Our lives will never be the same, but we didn't lose our values; if anything, you made us stronger and brought out the best in us, displayed especially by strangers helping other strangers that day, some losing their lives in the process."
Long Beach resident Matthew Davis sympathizes with the grieving families:
"Hopefully the photographer who captured Carrie Bergonia, the fiance of a firefighter who died, grieving at the 9/11 Memorial in New York will win an award.
"Who cannot notice the skyline in the background and think how it was changed so suddenly? Who sees the grief of survivors and doesn't realize how we will be forever changed?
"Who looks at this photograph and is not struck by all the lost potential suffered by every family of 9/11?"
Elizabeth George of Los Angeles laments what came after 9/11:
"On Wednesday, did any American shed a single tear for the tens of thousands of innocent children, women and men killed in Iraq thanks to our war? We lost nearly 3,000 lives on 9/11, and we mourn them. Apparently, Iraqi lives, taken by us, are worth much less.
"I, for one, will never forget those lives, or the continuing innocent lives lost in Afghanistan and Africa over our regrettable attacks, by drones or otherwise.
"Where is our humanity when all we consider is American lives?"
Granada Hills resident Jeannette Bloom chides The Times:
"I was angry that Wednesday's front page didn't commemorate the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, a momentous and devastating day in our country's history. (There was a picture inside the paper.)
"How do you justify this omission? Considering how few readers actually get that far inside the paper, the front page should have carried something right in the center, where more people would have seen it and remembered."