A little more than a week after what could be considered the largest tragedy in American history, reactions and viewpoints continue to pour in from all over the world. The reaction that troubles me the most was actually presented in a survey from the last edition of our own Hoya (Sept. 18, 2001, GU Students Support Action, Oppose Draft, pg. 1). The survey presented that only 50 percent of Georgetown students trust the government to effectively manage the situation. It also states that 49 percent of students were unwilling to accept civilian casualties sustained during an attack on those found responsible, and that only 41.3 percent said they would be willing to accept American military casualties. Even more amazing is that 57.3 percent of this campus does not condone a draft to support existing military forces.

The Georgetown community needs to consider what it is opposing. To those who do not trust the government to effectively manage the situation, how can you turn your back on a government whose officials are elected by the people to reflect our opinions? Looking at these results, it seems as though our generation has forgotten the price of freedom. As our community sits so comfortably upon our well-protected Hilltop, we have fundamental freedoms that are taken for granted on day-to-day basis. We go to class; we eat; we attend religious services; we organize in Red Square in support of various causes. We do these things without fear of consequence from anyone, because these are the things that we have been allowed to do our entire lives. We eat, sleep and breathe under a blanket of freedom that is stained with the blood of our grandparents’ generation. This blanket is continually patched with the sacrifice of our military forces all over the world.

And now, after that freedom has been severely shaken, we cower in the corner in fear that our nation might have to call upon us with a draft. We cannot accept the idea of civilians losing their lives in our attempt to bring those terrorists responsible to justice. We as a community are not willing to accept the sacrifice of American lives so we can maintain the freedom that we have grown so accustomed to having.

Are we so ignorant as to believe that the use of force is not necessary to prevent terrorists from striking again? Or should we instead try to patch up diplomatic relations with terrorist groups all over the world? Every individual at this school needs to ask themselves if they would be willing to step on a plane tomorrow, or if they would think twice about working on the top floors of a building in New York. These terrorists have already won the first battle, but it is up to our generation to win the war. How much fear will you have to endure, how much freedom will you be willing to sacrifice before you are able to stand behind the government you have elected?

Georgetown is the training ground for our future political leaders, and if this is a microcosm of the political ideology that our generation will bring to the United States government, then I fear our generation will not be able to enjoy the fundamental freedoms we have taken for granted. It is necessary now more than ever for the U.S. to unite with Muslim communities around the world in a stand against terrorism. This is not about one single event, but about a pattern of behavior. It’s about not living in fear, and it’s about the freedom to choose how we want to live.

David Swift is a sophomore in the College.

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