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For an American tragedy, indignation is in order

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Heartfelt condolence is the first expression. America mourns, as does our whole staff, the huge number of fatalities and injured human beings ? thousands but fully undetermined as of this writing ? that died as a result of the terrorist attack that paralyzed the country on Sept. 11, 2001. It was a horrible day, impossible to forget; everyone will always remember where they were when it happened.

Who could forget the images of the planes hitting the World Trade Center towers or the ominous collapse of both buildings or the fact of an attack so coordinated that it hit the heart of American business and military at once ? symbol and reality of a time when all rules disappear, when the violence so prevalent throughout the world has clearly come home to America.

While the actual perpetrators are likely all dead ? no doubt freely given to their suicidal terror task ? certainly the intellectual authors and supporters of this horrible deed will come to light. And just as certain, there will and should be punishment. They and possibly many more will pay for their actions.

In speaking early to the nation, President George W. Bush pledged, 'The United States will hunt down and punish these attackers.' Another voice commented that the day was, 'a second Pearl Harbor.' While as of this writing the actual instigators have not completely come to light, one thing is certain: the world has changed.

The impact on this country, which has the capacity to shape the world, is immeasurable. The heartbreak is immense. Just in its firefighters and police personnel, who were heroically moving to help the wounded when the first tower collapsed, more than 200 were killed. The country's economy, already faltering, will suffer even more unless strong, decisive action is taken. Nothing, it seems, will be the same again.

There will be many arguments about the hows and whys of the terror perpetuated on Sept. 11. But this is not the time for that. The time is for mourning, for unity as a people who share this country and for indignation against the brutality of an evil deed that cannot be forgotten.

To the men and women of the country's Armed Forces and other services, including many of our own American Indian peoples, to whom the duty will fall to seek the culprits and manifest a proper justice, we offer our complete support. The moment, the horror of the act, demands nothing less.