We can#039;t let fear hold us hostage

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 19, 2003

With our new, hard-won skepticism, we now watch nervously where we never really looked before, anticipating ambush and attack. This has its pluses and minuses. If we do truly maintain this alert status, we will not be ambushed again. But how long can we maintain it, and not start to jump at every shadow that flicker just beyond our vision? And what will the ultimate price for such vigilance be on the American psyche?

It has been said that the best revenge is living well. While our troops travel to distant ports to ensure our freedoms, we cannot mock their efforts by giving those very freedoms up without a fight. We must continue in our lives as we always have - going to ball games, visiting the beach, traveling across the country. While cautions and precautions are sensible, we cannot let caution mutate into paranoia or obsessive fear.

If we do, there will be no need for terrorists to hold us hostage with their guns and bombs and chemical weapons - they will be doing it with fear alone.