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posted: 9/26/2011 4:00 AM

9/11 service went off topic, he feels

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On morning of 9/11/2011, my family and I walked to the Mount Prospect Village Green to support first responders, and together observe their heroic actions as they that day attempted to save the lives of complete strangers. That day, fathers and mothers were rushing into burning skyscrapers, against the flow of panicked crowds, some knowing that they would never see their own families again, yet they continued.

Mount Prospect first responders share the same commitment in our community, as was witnessed during the last flood; a few couldn't prevent flood damage in their homes because they were in the community, assisting us. During the major storms, one could see police officers out in the heavy rain and lightning, in the night, directing traffic.

State Rep. (David) Harris and Mayor (Irvana) Wilks didn't need to blend words of gratitude and remembrance with justification of two wars, the celebration of Osama Bin Laden's death, and validation for the continuation of U.S. foreign and internal anti-terrorism crackdowns.

These topics are polarizing, have no place in such a ceremony, and frankly are akin to viewing German war films where every remembrance ceremony is also followed by political speeches designed to incite the populace. The speakers should've stayed focused on the unifying aims of conveying gratitude, empathy and peace. Rep. Harris and Mayor Wilks should have stayed on message, skipped the poetry, and showed some deference.

As a final note, I would challenge these two politicians to communicate how they sided with first responders when the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act came up for a vote in 2010 and their fellow Republicans fought bitterly against it. And I would also ask them how involved they have been to make sure that ALL of the 9/11 commission's recommendations are implemented, yet another issue Republicans have aggressively stalled.

Joseph Plata

Mount Prospect