Whatever Happened to Kinder and Gentler? | Letters | Chicago Reader

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Whatever Happened to Kinder and Gentler?

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To the editors:

I am not one who often writes letters to the editor, but I was moved to do so by Paul Pekin's piece in Our Town, March 1, 1991. I count myself among the invisible numbers of those who have observed the yellow ribbon phenomenon with growing unease. I have noticed how, as with identification of any kind, that symbol has divided as much as it has united. My unease grows from the awareness of the depth of the response this war has brought out and the shallowness of the reasoning behind the support for it. Just as that yellow ribbon signifies much more than merely "support for our troops," the apparently, nearly universal support for the war seems to imply the existence of a very deep-seated sense of national inadequacy, the feeling that all is not as it could be. I believe it is good and healthy that we as a nation sense that all is not well with our country. This war seems to have, momentarily at least, created a much-needed sense of national effectiveness. Unfortunately the skills demonstrated by our military efficiency do not transfer well to solving the problems that we all, perhaps especially those yellow ribbon wearers, know exist here. Mr. Pekin's piece brought tears to my eyes and reminded me that it is compassion which seems in such short supply these days. Even those with the yellow ribbons might appreciate a little more compassionate treatment on the part of their government. And who knows? They might even have a little extra to give.

Alan M. Scott

W. School

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