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An email from Charles Brennan, 18 yrs old - An open letter to a terrorist:

Well, you hit the World Trade Center, but you missed America. You hit the Pentagon, but you missed America. You used helpless American bodies, to take out other American bodies, but like a poor marksman, you STILL missed America.

Why? Because of something you guys will never understand. America isn't about a building or two, not about financial centers, not about military centers, America isn't about a place, America isn't even about a bunch of bodies. America is an IDEA. An idea that you can go someplace where you can earn as much as you can figure out how to, live for the most part, like you envisioned living, and pursue happiness. (No guarantees that you'll reach it, but you can sure try!).

Go ahead and whine you terrorist whine, and chant your terrorist litany: "If you can not see my point, then feel my pain." This concept is alien to Americans. We live in a country where we don't have to see your point. But you're free to have one. We don't have to listen to your speech. But you're free to SAY one. Don't know where you got the strange idea that everyone has to agree with you. We don't agree with each other in this country, almost as a matter of pride. We're a collection of guys that don't agree, States. We united our individual states to protect ourselves from tyranny in the world. Another idea, we made up on the spot. You CAN make it up as you go, when it's your country.

You guys seem to be incapable of understanding that we don't live in America, America lives in US! American spirit is what it's called. And killing a few thousand of us, or a few million of us, won't change it. Most of the time, it's pretty happy-go-lucky kind of spirit, until we're crossed in a cowardly manner - then it becomes an entirely different kind of spirit.

Wait until you see what we do with that spirit this time. Sleep tight, if you can. We're coming.

Charles Brennan