At a time when our nation seems to be politically divided, let us reflect on the upcoming 9 /11 anniversary and remember what binds us together as a people and nation. Reflect on how you felt when thousands of our fellow Americans and others were so senselessly killed. On 9 /11 and the days following, Americans came together. There wasn’t political polarization, but a common belief in our people and country. We saw Republicans and Democrats joined together on the steps of the Capitol singing “God Bless America.”

What makes America great, President George W. Bush said, is “ the courage of passengers who rushed terrorists to save others … rescuers working past exhaustion, … the unfurling of flags, the lighting of candles, giving blood, prayers in English, Hebrew and Arabic … the decency of a loving and giving people who have made the grief of strangers their own.”

This is the true spirit of the American people. Let us not forget what a beacon of light we are to the world, and our obligation not to forget those who died or survived on 9 /11, honor the sacrifices of the first responders, and the men and women who have died fighting the enemies of freedom.

Let’s pause for one day to recapture the spirit of unity and service that arose following those attacks and remember that our principles are what unite us. Let’s put politics aside for one day and remember 9 /11 by honoring the victims, but also what makes us Americans.

THOMAS C. MORTENSON, Detroit Lakes

MINING IN MINNESOTA

So is Emmer saying Minnesotans will reject mining near BWCA?

According to U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer, “ ... now Minnesota’s mineral rights are finally restored back to the people of our great state” (“Mining exploration reopened near BWCA,” Sept. 7). So since recent polls show a significant majority of Minnesotans are opposed to sulfide mining near the BWCA, that settles it then.

MARK PIPKORN, Minneapolis

ANONYMOUS OP-ED

Piece was obviously the work of a New York Times editor

The far-left media are so anxious to impeach President Donald Trump that they will go to any lengths to discredit the president. You know what I think about that so-called anonymous Op-Ed writer? I don’t think it was written by anyone in the Trump administration. I’m almost positive it was written by one of the editors or writers at the New York Times. Unless someone steps forward, and they won’t because they don’t exist, it can never be proved who wrote that gibberish nonsense.

TOM R. KOVACH, Nevis, Minn.

• • •

I wonder about the motivation behind the anonymous Op-Ed piece. Could it be that with the release of respected journalist Bob Woodward’s damning book there is worry about losing the U.S. House? The anonymous writer suggests the president may be immoral and off the rails but we “heroes” are holding steady and saving the country. Is the piece possibly suggesting you can still vote Republican in November even if Trump makes your skin crawl knowing that they are on the job? And are they stating for the record that they are the good guys and will not be complicit when everything falls apart? I wonder.

TERESA BLOCH, Fridley

TURTLES AREN’T SAFE YET

Blanding’s turtles a nice story, but residents must stay vigilant

Finding baby Blanding’s turtles within Lebanon Hills Regional Park is indeed something to celebrate (“Naturalists thrilled at discovery of rare turtles,” Aug. 30) These threatened reptiles gravitate toward prairies that are near wetlands — a habitat combination that is widespread in the park. One should conclude they have a safe place to call home. They don’t. Their habitat is where a controversial asphalt trail designed as a bike thoroughfare is planned; and where event space was proposed; and where, until recently, the natural resources were neglected and allowed to degrade for decades.

We are fortunate that in 1974 the state Legislature, noting the significant loss of wildlife habitat all around the metro, established the Regional Parks System to preserve and protect these most valuable remaining large open spaces. Regional parks complement amenities available in city parks by providing a wide range of nature-based opportunities. These are the “state parks” of the metro area, and we have a responsibility to manage them to their full potential. Stories like baby Blanding’s sightings should be the norm, not the exception. The best way for wildlife to thrive is by minimizing human impact on their habitat.

Regional parks are guided by the Met Council’s Regional Parks Policy Plan, which is currently being updated. Proposed changes will expand new construction of costly infrastructure and include plans for more asphalt (along with their chemical treatments) throughout these nature-based parks. Let the Met Council know that the priority for our regional parks should be natural resource restoration and programming to support a natural, wildlife-friendly setting. Public comments are encouraged to public.info@metc.state.mn.us through Sept. 27.

HOLLY EINESS, Minneapolis

RON YARY

Former Vikings player should put his money where his mouth is

If former Minnesota Vikings player Ron Yary is really serious about his disgust with the NFL and player protests, maybe it’s time for a real statement of his beliefs (“Vikings great Yary sounds off,” Sept. 7). How about returning the pension checks he receives every year, paid by the NFL? After all, the pension is funded in large part from the revenue generated by those very same players whose behavior he finds so offensive. Let’s see who is really willing to accept the consequences and stand — or kneel — for what they believe.

TODD EMBURY, Ramsey

WRONG SECTION?

Article was really an opinion piece disguised as a news story

The Sept. 2 article “Big promises, big price tags” was fitting for the Opinion Exchange section. Unfortunately the article was on the front of the Minnesota section, implying it was not a commentary piece and was a news article. Judgments such as declaring that DFL gubernatorial candidate Tim Walz’s vision to create “an activist state government” would make Minnesota “an island in the sea” of Midwestern states are opinions. I hope they are identified as such in future reporting on the governor’s race.

DEIDRE BRENNAN, Minneapolis