July 24th, 2011
09:00 AM ET

Letters to the President: #916 'Pray for Norway'

Reporter's Note: World leaders are expressing their sympathies in the wake of the terrible bombing and shooting attack in Norway. So am I.

Dear Mr. President,

Well, what can I say...what can anyone say about all the horrors visited on our friends in Norway? The idea that one deeply troubled person might bring such devastation to a generous and peaceful nation is sad beyond belief, and yet these things happen.

I wish they did not, but they do.

It is always good, of course, to reexamine our own security and the measures we might take to prevent a similar calamity. However, I'm pretty certain that no matter what we - or any nation - does to protect the populace, this sort of thing will always be with us. Dangerous people driven by ideology, mental illness, or a toxic stew of both, will appear from time to time, spreading destruction in their wake.

Related: Who is the suspect in the Norway attacks?

Sure, we can probably improve our ability to react. We can get better at identifying such people and diagnosing their problems. We can make it harder for these folks to get the access and/or weapons they need.

All of that can reduce the odds of these attacks, although we can never eliminate them entirely.

This we can do: We can rally to the side of our friends here and abroad when terrible events like this unfold. We can reinforce the worldwide sense that all people of good nature and faith must stand together against those who would hurt us. Terrorists - acting alone or in concert; from within or without; no matter their faith, race, or creed - are the enemies of humankind. And the family of man must be undivided in condemning their hatred.

I'm sure we will pray for the people of Norway in our church this weekend. I hope you do in yours as well.


Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

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Filed under: Letters to the President • Opinion • President Barack Obama • T1
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Laminga Mohammed

    I actually felt for Norwagians. May d almighty God give us d fortitde to bear our lost brothers & sisters & protect us further from d hands of terrorist.

    July 25, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
  2. Roger Tracey

    Because of hardball partisan politics Congress has become America's Number 1 public enemy. They can do more damage to our country that any terrorist group ever could. If they cannot put what is good for the people first, they should go. Hundreds of years ago our ancestors got on boats and went to a new country because they did not like living in a system of wealthy elite taking advantage of the general public. The National debt is EVERYBODY'S problem. The Republicans want only the seniors, the middle class and the poor to pay it off. They want the wealthy elite to get off without any responsibility. Where do I find the boats leaving for a new land?

    July 25, 2011 at 2:57 am |
  3. Beatrice

    Norway needs to go back to its excellent Lutheran tradistion to preserve the excellency.

    July 24, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
  4. Beatrice

    Norway should stop being naive and reinstall death penalty immediately.

    July 24, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
  5. Peter Trevino, NYC

    That's a very useful and necessary letter to President Obama. You mention a good deal of ways to prevent and cope with attacks, big or small, on our Nation; except that you left out one very important point: We need to EDUCATE! Yes! Educate our children and young men and women to accept others, to tolerate different peoples. Introducing a course in schools to teach social manners, understanding and the ugliness of hate could prevent these senseless attacks.

    Please Mr. Foreman, could you write to President Obama again and suggest a course in tolerance for our schools? The Country will be better protected for that.

    July 24, 2011 at 4:52 pm |