We spent much of last week reflecting on the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and the heart-wrenching loss of 2,977 lives in a horrific terror attack that forever changed our lives. Everyone remembers where they were as two airliners crashed into the twin towers. And we remember how this unspeakable tragedy brought us together in ways we hadn’t witnessed since WWII, and how we enthusiastically backed the efforts designed to keep something like this from ever happening again.

Fast forward 20 years, and we find ourselves losing the human equivalent of the 9/11 deaths to COVID-19 every two days. All told, we’re closing in on 700,000 Americans killed by this insidious disease. Yet, rather than bringing Americans together to fight against this common enemy, politicians are exploiting evidence-based protective protocols as a partisan wedge to drive us farther apart. It’s working.

Unlike previous terror attacks, we’ve known this enemy from the outset, where it lives, how it propagates and, most importantly, how to defeat it. Make no mistake — this virus is a terrorist. It has already killed 200 times more Americans than died in the 9/11 attacks. Yet, fully one-third of eligible Americans refuse to get vaccinated, a simple act we know would stop the virus dead in its tracks, allowing us to go back to living our normal pre-pandemic lives and end the ongoing carnage in our hospitals and ERs.

Following the 9/11 attacks, President George W. Bush famously stated, “You’re either with us, or with the terrorists.”

Today, it’s a different terrorist we face, but the choices remain the same. Which side are you on?

Scott Below

Greenville

Protect our power grid


We must do more to strengthen our power grid against an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) event. Such an event can result from an attack by terrorists or by another country (China may already have the capability — which it may use in an economic crisis) or it can occur naturally. It could result in devastating loss of life. There is disagreement on this, but why take chances?

We should also have a ground-based GPS back-up system, like Russia has, or we could lose internet at the least in an anti-satellite attack.

Alvin Blake

Greenville

Scholarships a blessing

Opportunity scholarships are a blessing to families like mine. Because of the amazing program, my children have been able to receive an education that is second to none. This never would have happened if I didn’t have the opportunity to pick a private school that better meets their needs. Without the Opportunity Scholarship, we could not have afforded this type of educational environment. Why should private school only be available to those of means? This scholarship is giving a chance to students who need it the most.

Ieshia Squires

Winterville

Contact Bobby Burns at baburns@reflector.com and 329.9572.