- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 15, 2001

Noble: The people of Akron, Ohio, for giving an amazing holiday gift to the rescue workers in New York City.

On September 11, hundreds of New York's finest policemen and firemen gave their lives in service and the shriek of their rescue vehicle sirens were silenced forever. Yet their spirit of sacrificial giving was passed on to Americans everywhere.

The citizens of Akron decided that they would help fill the void with a gift that was not only desperately needed, but also symbolic of their care for their fellow Americans. They decided that they would replace some of the rescue equipment New Yorkers had lost on September 11. To that end, they set up the Greater Akron Fire Truck Fund, which was coordinated by Akron's Beacon Journal and First Merit Bank.

The initial goal of the drive was simply to cover the $350,000 needed to buy a single fire truck. However, the outpouring was almost overwhelming. Schoolchildren gave to penny drives. The police department sold T-shirts. Others simply dropped donations in to community collection centers. Two weeks after the drive began, the citizens of Akron had given over $1.5 million enough to buy an entire squad of rescue equipment. In fact, Akron finally had to shut down the drive because, according to councilman Mike Williams, "the money just kept rolling in."

That money was used to purchase a specially made 95-foot, shiny red ladder truck, two EMS vehicles and two police cruisers. New Yorkers officially welcomed the shiny red fire truck to their city this week. Indeed, each time that Akron's gifted rescue vehicles rush to save another life, they will remind us of what we have lost and what we can be.


Knaves: The Jewish militants arrested in a plot to blow up Arab and Muslim buildings in the Los Angeles area.

While the Jewish Defense League's Irv Rubin and Earl Krugel may have had reason to feel anger, and even murderous rage towards Arabs, there is no excuse for plotting to take their lives. Indeed, federal law-enforcement authorities say Mr. Rubin and Mr. Krugel targeted not just any mosque or building, but also a building in San Clemente that occupies the offices of an American Rep. Darrell Issa, a grandson of Lebanese immigrants.


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