2010-09-03 / Letters

Build Something New

Dear Editor,

One of the facts that is passed on to our children in public and private education in the United States is that the Arabs gave us the number ‘Zero.’

It is said that the Hindu-Arabic numerals and the positional number system were introduced around 500 A.D., and in 825 A.D. a Persian scientist, Al-Khwarizmi, distributed a book on arithmetic. That book contained his contribution to mathematics and science which was an explanation of the use of zero.

In the 12th century the Arabic numeral system was introduced to the Western world through Latin translations of that book.

In New York City there is an area designated ‘Ground Zero.’

It can be argued that the Arabs brought us ‘Ground Zero’ also, but that would be a lie. That designation was made by men and women in the grip of hysteria as they dealt with the destruction of the World Trade Center by Saudi Arabian lunatics.

Referring to some mythical point as ‘Ground Zero’ is misleading. It also causes undue fright and stress to our children.

New buildings must be raised on that site and the sooner the better. Arguments about insurance payouts, elaborate memorials and even leaving the area empty are ridiculous on the surface and ludicrous at heart.

A plaque will do.

Ground Zero conjures thoughts of unfathomable loss, defeat, helplessness, weakness, failure, emptiness - despair.

If your child had a cut would you open the scab to bleed it and torture the child again each day?

Build something new.

ALFRED BROCK

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