Letter to Senator Clinton

Dear Senator Clinton:
I have been watching the primaries with great interest and am writing this letter in hopes that it might help your campaign. To introduce myself, I am a Canadian physician who has no voting ability when it comes to American elections. I have absolutely nothing to gain by testifying about your natural ability to lead the U.S. out of darkness.

I met you at Ground Zero on September 12th, 2001. In fact, my medical team of five Canadians literally bumped into you in our haste to make it to Stuyvesant High School where the casualties of the WTC terrorist attacks were accumulating. When I caught my balance amidst the crowd of people, I realized that it was you standing in front of me. I will never forget that moment. You were very composed with only a single secret service agent beside you, completely camouflaged as an ordinary citizen. When my group realized who you were, we stood still. I was speechless and already overwhelmed by the chaos around us. The only words that I could manage to form were: We are Canadians. We came from Canada to help.

You shook each of our hands and thanked us. The momentum and courage that your simple gesture gave us was very much appreciated.

When I reflect on that week, a flood of memories returns to me. First, unlike any other of your political colleagues at the time, you were walking about, without any lights or cameras, reassuring the people that you represent that you were there to help. You were vulnerable, ready and willing to have anyone approach you in person _ unlike President Bush.

In fact, because the current president is so afraid of getting assassinated _ that is what the police told us on September 15th, 2001 - the medical triage had to shut down for _security reasons in preparation for his arrival on Friday, and might I add three whole days after the attacks. At the time, our triage was taking care of between 50 to 70 patients an hour. We had over 200 medical volunteers working around the clock to help. As far as we know, all of our patients were injured volunteers. We would patch up whomever we could and help them get back to the fevered search for potential life.

The stories of injured fire fighters and other rescue workers obsessed about getting stitched up, or having their eyes flushed from the acidic smoke, as quickly as possible in order to continue looking for a loved one, are too numerous to recount. However, when President Bush came to Ground Zero, the Triage was closed down and we all were forced home.

Six years later, you helped me again - though this time not in person. Somehow, I still remain ashamed that I ever got sick after helping. My lungs have never been the same as when I crossed the finish line at the Ironman Canada ultra distance triathlon on August 26th. 2001. Because of you, Senator Clinton, thousands of WTC volunteers have free medical care for their rescue related illnesses. I was absolutely astonished when American volunteers that I still keep in touch with told me that I could also get help despite being a Canadian. To be honest, I refused any assistance for several years. For one, I am not bitter and choose not to define my life by September 11th. Even if I knew that I would get as sick as I have, I would help again. My quality of life compared to many of the great people that I met during that dark week six years ago is actually pretty awesome. I remain grateful for what I have and not bitter about what I do not.

Regardless, from the moment that I met you in person, and from the many moments I have been grateful for your continuing to stand up for the thousands who later became sick and injured from Ground Zero, I have thought of you as a true hero.

California may have the "Terminator", America has you.

In closing, although the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan make me sick with despair, after what you saw first hand on September 11th, 2001, I don't blame you for taking the greatest measure available at the time to keep America safe. You did the best you could, with what you had, at the time.

Senator Obama, or any of your rivals for that matter, were never at Ground Zero. How can they truly second-guess your decision?

I look forward to cheering for you all the way to the finish line - when you are sworn in officially as President of the United States.

Tags: 9-11, Healthcare, National Security (all tags)

Comments

22 Comments

Re: Letter to Senator Clinton

This is so beautiful; thank you, and thank you for your service at the 9/11 site.  It's a testament, I hope, to the friendship between our two nations.

by ejintx 2008-02-04 04:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Letter to Senator Clinton

This was really great, genuine and touching.  Thanks for writing it.

by reasonwarrior 2008-02-04 05:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Letter to Senator Clinton

You won't vote for Hillary if she is the Dem nominee for the General?

by manny 2008-02-04 05:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Letter to Senator Clinton

he just said he is an independent, why does this surprise you?

by JDF 2008-02-05 02:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Letter to Senator Clinton

Sorry to hear that you will be voting for BO.

I would like to point out that the clintons did support Al Gore in 2000. Al Gore did not want President Clinton to campaign for him. President Clinton campaigned for AL in Florida during the final days when AL found out that he was losing to Bush.

All the best to you

by indus 2008-02-04 05:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Letter to Senator Clinton

Whoa what?  Have you totally gone off the deep end?  Bill Clinton has investments in Asia, and the troops are protecting them.

I'm sorry, when did we cease to exist in reality and in some fantasy land where Clinton has been running the country secretly for eight years?

by ejintx 2008-02-04 05:07PM | 0 recs
How many times has Obama been to Iraq?

... I know they don't have arugula there.

by dpANDREWS 2008-02-04 05:51PM | 0 recs
thank you for coming to help us on 9-12
bless you.  Thank you for this beautiful diary.  
I recommend it so that everyone can see it.
by MollieBradford 2008-02-04 06:17PM | 0 recs
will someone please

hide this troll's comment?

by MollieBradford 2008-02-04 06:18PM | 0 recs
Your gratitude for Hillary means a lot to me

I'm very happy that there are people out there who really know Hillary Clinton and appreciate her as who she is and things she has done.

Thank you.

by JoeySky18 2008-02-04 06:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Letter to Senator Clinton

Thank you for coming here to help us in our time of need.  What a beautiful story!  Such a shame that there are Americans who don't appreciate Senator Clinton as much as you do.  Hillary must be such a strong person to go out there everyday, trying to do right for our country while there are those who hate her so much.  Can you imagine hating somebody who you don't even know???

by izarradar 2008-02-04 06:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Letter to Senator Clinton

Go Dr. Carolyn!  Very well written.

by scotthoeninger 2008-02-04 07:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Letter to Senator Clinton

DrCarolyn, would you drop me a line?  susanunpc at gmail dot com  

Thank you!  

by susanhu 2008-02-04 07:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Letter to Senator Clinton

From a New Yorker, THANK YOU!

by BRockNYC 2008-02-04 07:27PM | 0 recs
why are all the reasons

to vote for him filled with invective against her. If you're an indie and you don't share core democratic values, then who needs you. Well, except for the poor and the disadvantaged, our kids in Iraq, cause buster if she's our nom, the other choice is McCain, and you not voting is just as good for him as you voting for him, one more vote he won't have to match.

by anna shane 2008-02-04 08:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Letter to Senator Clinton

Thank you for a beautiful diary.  Every year on the anniversary I see Canadian flags stuck in the fence around Ground Zero, a reminder that this was not just New York's tragedy, but the world's.

People here in New York know who was truly on the side of the first responders and the rescue workers, and who was simply interested in grandstanding with a bullhorn.  One of the reasons Rudy Giuliani's candidacy never took off is because the first responders of NYC worked tirelessly to make sure America got word of his real record on 9/11.

Hillary has definitely been one of the good ones in this fight.

by Steve M 2008-02-04 10:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Letter to Senator Clinton

Thanks for the diary. Hillary is the right person at the right time. She can and will bring the change this country so disparately yearns for. She has the experience and leadership to navigate in the uncertain times ahead. She is the person of our time to deliver on America's promise.

by grlpatriot 2008-02-05 04:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Letter to Senator Clinton

If it was President Clinton, they would have shut it down too when she came.

by dogman 2008-02-05 05:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Letter to Senator Clinton

A beautiful letter. Thank you for posting it.

But you see the kind of people we are dealing with here in the United States? Someone like KOTS, ugly, small-minded, sick people who are so full of hate that can't even allow this comment to stand without trying to put a damper on it. I hope you're proud of yourself, poor little man.

by cc 2008-02-05 07:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Letter to Senator Clinton

oh hell yeah. george bush flies in circles over nebraska, afraid to land, and hillary's on the ground at ground zero.

that's why i support hillary. she shows up. not when it's convenient, not when it's safe. she just shows up, period.

john lewis was a civil rights organizer when participating i nthe movement meant gettign beaten by the police and thrown in jail. he knows the difference between people who talk a good game, and people who show up. maybe that's why john lewis endorsed her. she shows up.

by campskunk 2008-02-05 09:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Letter to Senator Clinton

I loved your reply campskunk.  That is what my letter was about: Hillary shows up.  Period!

by DrCarolyn 2008-02-05 09:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Letter to Senator Clinton

Dear KOTS:

If you are going to make such accusations about the Clintons, then please provide objective proof.

by findthesource 2008-02-05 12:10PM | 0 recs

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