Our horror, sadness and anger - Readers' letters on Beslan tragedy

We are all Russians
We are all Russians in the wake of the terrible attacks the Russian people have faced in the last weeks.  As New Yorkers who lived through the 9-11 attacks, we know a bit about the anguish you are experiencing.  Please know that you are in our thoughts and hearts and prayers.


Prof. Seth Freeman & Carolyn Barker Freeman
New York City
September 11, 2004

An open letter to the Russian People

Dear Russian People,

I am just a common country American, and when I saw on the news that terrorists had taken over a school, and that many people died, my heart sank. And so I am moved by this tragedy, to write this letter.

What has happened is unbelievable, that terrorists would wage war on children. I believe that this only goes to show the world what cowards they are.

But there is something that I want all Russian people to know. I am quite sure that anyone who calls himself an American, must surely feel the same outrage, despair, and grief that I feel. Our hearts are with you, and our prayers are with you, and it is most important to help you heal, to know that America, as well as the civilized world is with you in your time of healing. You are not alone.

I remember many years ago, as a teenager, when a man named Kennedy, was in the white house, and a Man named Nikita Khrushchev was leader of the USSR.

Those were dark days between our peoples. But I never believed that our two peoples were at odds with one another, but that it was only our leaders that put such stress on the world.

I have always had a good feeling about the Russian people, even in those darkest hours. I have always thought that we both should strive harder to get to know one another, to exchange cultural values, and to find ways to be better friends.

So with this letter, I hope that I, in some small way, can make my personal contribution towards your betterment, towards your well-being, and towards your future that I hope will be brighter, and safer by the day. By helping one another in times of need, perhaps there will never again be the problems that we experienced back in the 1960's. And if fortune some day shines upon me, I should like to tour your country and see the many marvels of architecture and culture that has been your highest point as a society.

Best wishes,

J. Kirk McKinnell


Dear Editors:

My friends and family here in the Washington, D.C., area have watched the events in Beslan with horror, sadness, and most of all, anger.  I never thought that I would live to see acts as senseless, cruel, and inhuman as those that occurred on September 11th, 2001. But I was wrong.  The deliberate murder of children by these Islamo-fascists shows us that there is no limit to their depravity and, therefore, no way to placate their savage hatred.

Perhaps Russian TV stations will broadcast images of Americans leaving flowers at the embassy in D.C., holding candlelight vigils, and donating money, to express our sympathy and concern for the families of the victims.  These are sincere expressions of our sadness.  But despite the inane comments and "nuanced analysis" you are sure to hear in the coming weeks from journalists and foreign diplomats, I hope that your readers understand that the vast majority of Americans also pray for your complete victory over our common, implacable, and, yes, evil enemy.

Michael Sikorski
Washington, D.C.

The children

Please accept my heart felt sympathy on the death of all the children.
That is so sad and hurts to hear such cruelty against the innocent of children. To the Mothers, I share in your sadness and pray for you.
Janet Clark
North Carolina USA

Sorrow of the children of Beslan

The internet is great. I am just a private citizen living in Texas.  I am in no way related to any local, state or federal government.  I started reading your newspaper recently, to get a Russian perspective of the terrorist attacks against the Russian people in Beslan.  I am very, very, very saddened by the deaths and injuries of your children.  Children deserve more from us (you and me).  I have four grandsons.  These boys and all children around the world deserve to grow up healthy and oblivious to the problems we adults face.   They should be fed healthy foods and given healthcare when needed.  Children need guidance and straightforward definition about life's decisions.  I hope my grandsons to grow up to be good, strong productive members of society.  To that end, I stress a good education.  I am sure you have similar expectations for your children.
I think US Americans and Russians are not that different.  I saw the pictures of pain on the faces of people (mother, fathers, relatives and others) and I can relate to the expressions of loss.  I am extremely sorry for your loss.  My government and press would at times paint you and your government as the bad guys.  I am sure your government and press sometimes project US Americans in a light less flattering than we would like.  I am also confident, you, as do we Americans hope our children do better in life than us.  I hope  our children are better educated, have a higher standard of living and enter, as young adults, into an unbiased healthy society.  We teach our children that if you want something you have to work for it.  Hard work will be rewarded.  Although it doesn't always work that way, we still try to instill important values into our children.
Two years ago, terrorists attacked New York City. As a result, we counter-attacked terrorist networks in Afghanistan and Iraq.  US military actions were not initiated without deep thought.  Contrary to what some Russian writers have written, the United States does not have a plan for expansion.  To the contrary, we are most anxious to remove our young military men and women from Iraq and Afghanistan.  Generally speaking, we respect other countries "right of rule".  Although it is difficult to sit "idly by" while we read about genocide and mass murdering by radical groups, as is going on in Sudan right now.
My government is not perfect. However, as long as my government represents me, they will be fair, straightforward and respect others and their properties.  I believe President George Bush is a good man with high morals.  Not all our government representatives are as upstanding as President Bush.  Many US American government politicians represent the far right or far left.  I don't usually agree with their opinions however, they have a right to their opinions.
Excuse me for rambling.  The primary message I wanted to convey was my sorrow for the death of your children in Beslan. 
Dana Browning, Granbury, Texas


Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to all children and families of Beslan.
We pray that you will someday find peace in your hearts. 
In Christian love, Dave & Jan, Iowa, USA


Americans are grieving over the tragedy in Beslan. As we talk about it, we are puzzled as well as very angry. How, we ask, does a nation protect it's children from someone who is crazy enough to strap on a bomb and blow themselves and innocent children up? How do you predict and prepare for an event such as this?
Your President Putin's idea of preemptive strikes may be the only answer. Terrorists deserve no quarter (mercy).
J. M. Hooper

Beslan attack

this should prove to the world that we as civilized people cannot continue to sit back and do nothing.  We must take this war to Osama Bin Laden and any other terrorist group that likes to kill innocent children.  However, it needs to be understood that these terrorist groups hide behind the skirts of their women and wear womens scarves over their faces.  This is because they will not fight like men against other armed men.  Notice that in Iraq they capture women and unarmed men to kill.  This is what makes them feel like they are strong and have power.  Killing innocent children and women is what Osama teaches to his supporters.  Osama hides in caves because he is afraid to come out and face his enemies face to face.  Osama was born a coward and will die like a coward.  Hiding from his enemies! 
Brad Notrevo
Jacksonville, Florida

Dear Russians:
My name is Robert Smith. I live in Ft. Myers, Florida. Pravda published my letter to you just a day ago.
I and countless other americans expressed concern to President Bush about the inhumane attacks in Belsan.
Today, our president paid a visit to the Embassy of Russia in Washington, D.C.
This is what the President said:
"The atrocities that took place in the school were beyond comprehension," the president told reporters after writing a one-page note in the book.
"Many in America and, I know, many Russians cannot conceive the heart of a person who could mow down innocent children. The killers once again remind us of the duties we have as free people to work in concert, to work in unity, to make this world a better place," Bush said.
I just wanted the people of Russia to know that our government has heard the voices of the American people. Many of us will demand that our government pursue a different policy in regards to your problems with Chechnya.
Robert M. Smith

Message of sympathy

No person - No religion - No country - No belief - No cause - No pain - No revenge - NO REASON -- NEVER is there an excuse to do what was done in Beslan to innocent souls and those who love them and live for them. Please know that the heavens are filled with the prayers of millions of Americans
for peace for you who are suffering. And from those Americans who cannot believe that there is a god who would allow such suffering and evil to be visited upon you, there are so many tears and sorrow for you.  We fervently hope that if war or terrorism will be waged, cowardly acts such as torturing
and murdering innocent babies, their loving parents and caring teachers, will result in a powerful backlash on those who would take such foul and gutless actions. No person, no religion, no country, no belief, no cause, NO PAIN AND NO REVENGE is reason enough to kill innocents. We are so very, very sorry for your pain.

Mary Wallace
Colorado, USA

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Author`s name Evgeniya Petrova