To the Editor:

America itself was born out of consideration, deliberation, and ultimately dissent and war. Debate is essential to the continued functioning of our representative democracy, even more so now as we stand at a truly critical juncture in our nation’s future.

For Meghan Clyne (“Modern-day Yalies shirk patriotism, duty,” 10/11) to suggest that those who question their government’s actions are un-American is appalling. I see nothing un-American in calls to end violence and to use our authority in the world to work for civil justice, peace, and human rights for those at home and abroad.

There is nothing un-American in asking our government to consider carefully the ramifications of its actions and to supply us with enough information to judge its decisions. It was, as Ms. Clyne points out, for this very freedom to think for ourselves and to question our world, our government, and each other that our dead soldiers died.

As terrified as I am at the prospect of more attacks on our soil, I am equally frightened by the mentality that holds true patriotism to be unthinking, unquestioning, flag-waving allegiance.

Alison Locke GRD ’04

OCTOBER 11, 2001